Clown Suit Fits Dismal Daly to Tee
The harassing calls on Garry Smits' phone approached 100 by mid-day Wednesday. Only one of them threatened to harm his family.
Congratulations, John Daly. Your people have spoken, and the PGA Tour has Page No. 457 for your bad-boy dossier.
Daly instructed his Twitter followers to blast Smits, a sportswriter for the Florida Times-Union. That after Smits wrote a story Tuesday detailing the Tour's 456-page disciplinary file on Daly.
The only thing more predictable than a scoundrel blaming the media is for the media to lash back. I hesitate to do that because this whole thing smells like a P.T. Barnum ploy.
There's a sucker born every minute, the circus king famously said. Since Daly can no longer make a living being a golfer, he has to do it being John Daly.
That means acting like a clown and marketing it to his gullible fans. They no doubt loved Tuesday night's Golf Channel premiere of Being John Daly. What better way to pump next week's episode:
JD gets drunk and hits a tee shot into the media tent at The Honda Classic!
Cynicism aside, this week's scheme does have some redeeming qualities. It shows what a joke the Tour's disciplinary policy is. It fully illustrates what a joke Daly has become. It makes you wonder why anyone would still fall for his tired act.
Being a common man, I get Daly's common-man appeal. His antics were long excused as "John being John," but there's been less and less to admire. We found out how much less when Smits opened Daly's disciplinary file.
Four-hundred and fifty-six pages?
Can you imagine an NFL player with a 456-page disciplinary file? He'd be in the UFL before Roger Goodell got to page 12.
Can you imagine Tom Brady pulling a Daly? Better yet, can you imagine Michael Vick doing it and the public excusing it as "Michael being Michael?"
Being suspended five times, being placed on probation six times and being cited 21 times for "Failure to give best effort?"
Can you imagine an NFL quarterback incurring all those sanctions and the public never knowing about it? Or the media never writing about it?
It would happen if he were a member of the PGA Tour. The sport that celebrates nobility and personal responsibility doesn't acknowledge when it disciplines a player. Maybe if it had made a public example out of Daly after the third or fourth suspension, he might not have squandered all that talent.
I'll cut Daly some slack for his addiction problems, and can even laugh at him using a beer can as a tee. Those Dalyisms were well known before his file was opened. What few knew about was the incident at the 2005 U.S. Open.
Eugene Fleming worked for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Players were required to stop and show ID at a security checkpoint. Fleming had volunteered his services that week, only to have Daly almost run over him.
The Common Man's Golfer was in a hurry, you see, and couldn't be expected to follow the rules like everybody else.
The Tour implored law-enforcement officials to let it handle things. It labeled the incident a case of "mistaken identity." That despite four eyewitnesses, all law-enforcement officials, saying it was Daly behind the wheel.
"I looked him in the eye," Fleming told the Times-Union. "There was no mistaken identity on my part."
To summarize: Daly put more effort into hitting cops than making putts. Even the most lemming of fans might not excuse that as John being John.
The funny thing is it wouldn't have come out if Daly hadn't sued the Times-Union over a column written by Mike Freeman in 2005. Daly lost the libel suit, but his disciplinary file became evidence.
It was public record, sitting for anyone to see since November. All Smits did was report what was in it.
You'd think Daly would thank the Times-Union for enhancing his brand. He could use the publicity since he's won approximately one tournament in 14 years.
Instead, he went to his Twitter page and called Smits a jerk. Then he posted Smits' cell phone number and instructed his followers to "flood his line and let him know how we feel."
"You know how sports fans can bow up," Smits said.
He wasn't upset, though he probably had better things to do than listen to anonymous yahoos spew profanities all morning. Interestingly, Daly removed the Flood-the-Jerk's-phone-line entries from his Twitter page.
You could surmise he was worried the PGA Tour might notice. Not that another $5,000 fine would matter to a guy who reportedly made $4 million in endorsements last year.
Or you could cynically surmise the entries had accomplished their mission. A few more people might click to the Golf Channel Web site and read the promo for his show.
"Being John Daly will chronicle not only Daly's rededication to the game, but also his life makeover."
It doesn't seem much has changed other than Daly has lost some weight and put on more clown makeup.
As embarrassing as the drunken mug shots are, Bozo's still a huge draw for the PGA Tour. Same with the Golf Channel, Loudmouth pants and every other business associated with Daly. If they really wanted to help Daly, they'd deprive him of the one thing he must have – attention.
That would be bad for business, however. The worse he behaves, the more his embrace.
So scrap that idea about hitting a tee shot into the media tent this weekend. Daly should do something really rebellious, like knock over a 7-Eleven.
If Inspector Tim Finchem gets the assignment, expect it to be ruled a case of mistaken identity. At worse, it would quietly become Pages 458-479 in the disciplinary file.
It's all part of Being John Daly. The ongoing story that proves P.T. Barnum was right.