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Volume 24 No. 114
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What's Up For The Weekend With USA Today Sports Media President Tom Beusse

It is usually all sports all the time for USA Today Sports Media Group President TOM BEUSSE, but the holiday weekend will find him doing the same thing as most people -- spending time with family. The youngest of seven kids, Beusse plans to drive along with his family of four from their home in New Canaan, Conn., to his childhood residence in Caldwell, N.J. His weekend will be spent reminiscing the glory years of his soccer stardom at his high school, sipping wine fireside during family chats and anxiously awaiting the approval of his 16-year-old son’s driver's permit.

THE BATTLE FOR THE WISHBONE: Thursday morning we will head down. My nephew is a sophomore and he’s playing for the varsity football team. I don’t know how much time he’ll get but he’s on the team so we’re going down super early to get there in time for the annual Thanksgiving game against a rival town. I’ll probably see people I went to high school with, but it’ll be fun to see my nephew on the sideline. It’s my high school and I played soccer for them. I didn’t play football, but I’ve been to this particular Turkey Bowl I guess a hundred times before and it’s fun cause my family still goes. I haven’t lived in the town since I was 21 years old.

JUST RUB IT IN, WHY DON’T YA? After the football game is over, one of my sisters -- I have four older sisters -- throws a big holiday party. Her husband owns a restaurant in town, so they cook this ridiculous feast with three different turkeys done three ways and three different stuffings and sort of everything you can imagine for Thanksgiving. It takes weeks to burn off no matter how much I try to run it off. ... He makes a smoked turkey, a regular turkey and he deep fries a turkey. I usually just go straight down the middle with the regular turkey because I’m sort of a traditionalist. My mom makes crazy sausage stuffing which is great. I like sort of the old stuff, I like turnip and Brussels sprouts and stuff like that. Then I go to town on pecan pie and pumpkin pie. I can’t get away from the pumpkin, but I’ve got to have a little pecan because my sister makes a really good one. ... One of my nieces just graduated from the Culinary Institute of America so she does all of the desserts. And my brother-in-law won’t have anybody do the cooking because he’s sort of the man in that area.

WINE WITH THAT BIRD? I’m usually responsible for the wine. I’ll go to the wine shop and make sure I have the right wines to pair with what he’s cooking. I’ll bring those along and I usually have more fun doing that than I would slaving around at the stove. If you’re in the media business long enough you get pretty good at pairing wines with meals. I’ve done enough entertaining over 20 years in this business that I guess I’m the go-to guy in the family for that. I have a sister who loves Cakebread Chardonnay, so that’s probably going to be the white that we’re drinking. And I’m a nut for a brand of red wine called Justin Isosceles, which is a really light red wine. There’s enough food going around on Thanksgiving that you don’t need a giant wine to make you full.

FIRE’S A BLAZING: After dinner it’s usually a fireplace roaring somewhere. ... My mom is in her 80s and she has 13 grandchildren. So it will be a bunch of kids ranging from eighth grade to probably 27 or 28. It’s always interesting hearing what they’re doing. So it’s a bunch of people hanging around in a big living room talking about what these kids are doing, what this next generation is up to. Then I’ll surf football games. I’ll be desperately hoping that my Jets win but they’ll no doubt let me down since they’re playing the Patriots.

RUNNING DOWN A DREAM: Thursday night I’ll stay at my mom’s house, which will be fun. It’s the same house I grew up as a kid in; she’s been there for 50 years. Friday morning I will start running. I’m a junkie when it comes to running, so the only way you get to eat like I’ve just described is if you run every day. So I’ll be running all weekend. My son is now 16 and a pretty accomplished soccer player, so he’ll probably run with me all four days. Friday we’re going to Broadway. I’m taking five girls in my family -- a couple of nieces and my mom -- and my son, although I’m not sure he’s delighted with it. We’re going to see a not-so-new show, a Tony Award-winning show, called “Once.”

LET’S GO FOR A DRIVE: I’ve got to take my son to get his driver’s permit on Saturday. That’s scary in its own right. I’m going to have to go play golf after that just to get my head right (laughs). Sunday, I have to drive my daughter back to college. My daughter is a freshman at James Madison University, which is seven hours away, so I’ll have to drive her down on Sunday to Virginia. Then I’ll probably go straight up to Washington and work out of Gannett’s DC office on Monday. I feel strongly that if I get seven hours of one-on-one time with my daughter in the car, that’s probably the best seven hours I’ll have of the whole weekend.