SBD/November 16, 2012/People and Pop Culture

What's Up For The Weekend With Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage

Gossage says he has become more of a risk-taker the older he gets
Do not let the big stunts fool you, EDDIE GOSSAGE is a homebody. As President of Texas Motor Speedway, he has made his name as a marketing guru, crafting outrageous promotions and outlandish shenanigans to the delight of media and fans alike. But when the lights go out and he is not at the office, Gossage spends the majority of his time at his home in Ft. Worth with his wife MELINDA. He will spend this weekend biding time with Melinda in anticipation for the arrival of his first grandchild.

DATE NIGHT: On Friday nights, that’s definitely a date night. We love going to movies so we go to a place called the Movie Tavern. We just like to be quiet and alone together and watch a movie. It’s just me and my wife Melinda together, snuggling up and watching a movie. I fill my gas tank more by just being with her than anything that I can think of. We probably will go see “Skyfall,” the new Bond movie. It’s going to be in its second week. We kind of have a formula: If something is new, we won’t go to it because crowds and stuff like that. Usually it’s a little less the second or third week. One of the things we like about this particular place is you can reserve your seat and buy your ticket in advance. So we know where we like to sit and we don’t have to worry about getting a bad seat. Typically we share a bucket of popcorn and she’ll have a root beer and I’ll have a Coke.

STAKING OUT THE STORK: The truth is my son and daughter-in-law are expecting our first grandchild. Her due date is probably about eight days away. So we decided that we wouldn’t plan anything so we could just be on standby. We’re just terribly excited about having a new grandbaby! My very first. I’ve had my order in for some time. About two weeks ago my staff gave me a granddad’s baby diaper bag and it was stuffed with all kinds of things from pacifiers to books to read to little kids to stuffed animals. Then the ladies on the staff gave my wife a big baby bag. So we’ve got all kinds of baby stuff that you need from bibs to baby spoons to assorted creams. I said I don’t know why I’m getting this. I’m not changing any diapers on the granddaughter. That’s part of the beauty of being a grandparent.

FOWL IS FOUL: We’re big on cooking out on the grill. I can’t eat chicken, turkey. Anything fowl is foul to me. I’m allergic to it all. So we eat a lot of seafood. I make the best shrimp tacos. Go out on the grill and cook up the shrimp, then toss the tortillas on the grill. Get a little char on them and that kind of thing while [Melinda is] making cabbage and lime juice and cilantro and some shredded white queso blanco.

HONEY TO DO: Saturday we’ll probably do a few chores around the house. Sleep late and wait for the phone to ring, hopefully. There’s just always something that has to be fixed or messed with. We live on a lake, so last weekend I had to winterize the boat. I know that I’ve got to figure out how to put a base for a baby car seat in the back seat of my wife’s car. I’m learning all kinds of things ‘cause it’s been 30 years since I’ve had little kids. I gotta figure that out, which means I’ll mess with it for 30, 45 minutes and then I’ll read the instructions.

TIME TO REFLECT: I’m a season-ticket holder for the Dallas Cowboys, so we’ll go see them play Sunday. The game on Sunday is a noon game, so we’ll go to one of the church services on Saturday evening. We’ll probably do dinner at home. Contrary to what people expect or think, I’m a real quiet person and we more often than not watch a movie on TV or sit there and read. I get fulfillment just by being with Melinda.

COFFEE AND A PAPER, PLEASE: My routine on Sunday is I get up and I’ve got to have some coffee and read the paper before I get ready and go to church. I drink good ole all-American Colombian coffee. I read both the Dallas Morning News and Ft. Worth Star-Telegram on Sunday. I take both papers on my iPad, which I like because when I travel I’ve always got it delivered to my doorstep no matter what city I’m in. But I really enjoy on Sunday sitting down and having the newspaper in my hand and a cup of coffee and reading those papers before I go to church.

ROUND ‘EM UP: I’m a Packers fan but I will go to the Cowboys game. We got season tickets ‘cause I love football. So I’ll go and it’s not that I’m rooting against the Cowboys, I just want to see good football. But I will wear a shirt from my alma mater -- which is Middle Tennessee State University -- because it’s blue and silver and white and they all think I’m wearing a Cowboys shirt so nobody will mess with you. I’ve got an earpiece in; I’m listening to BRAD SHAM and BABE LAUFENBERG do the game on the radio. They’re excellent.

JERRY’S WORLD: They allowed me to pick out my seats before the stadium opened and I sit on the front row of an upper deck so that nobody can stand up in front of me. It’s a beautiful stadium and the big screen is of course the attraction. I think most people that go will tell ya you have to work at not watching it because it’s so overwhelming. It may be too big for the stadium to be honest. But I make myself watch the play on the field and then I look up on the big screen and watch the replay of that play. And then by the time that’s done you look back down and they’re coming up to the line of scrimmage for the next play.

CAN’T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS? I have become more of a risk taker the older I get. Usually it’s the other way around: you think you’re bullet proof when you’re a teenager. I was supposed to go sky diving for the first time last weekend but it was too windy. So I’m going to do that another day. I’m going dirt bike riding next week. I haven’t been on a dirt bike since I was like 13. Now I ride a Harley all the time, but to get on a dirt bike and get out there bouncing around and jumping, I haven’t done that in 40 years. But I have to because TRAVIS PASTRANA told me I have to come up to his place and he’s going to teach me how to do a back flip on a motorcycle so I need to get a little bit used to being back on the dirt bike.
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