Archive for Friday, May 5, 2006

Commentary: Daly doesn’t deserve fans’ respect

Golfer ‘is 10 times more corrupt than Terrell Owens, Barry Bonds and Ricky Williams combined’

May 5, 2006

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— John Daly has just ruined any chance he has of winning an ongoing lawsuit against a writer in Jacksonville he accuses of defamation of character.

After reading Daly's latest autobiography, it's quite clear: The man has no character to defame.

The name of Daly's book is called "My Life In & Out of the Rough." It should be called, "I'm a big, fat, gluttonous, gambling, boozing, grunting, snorting sexist pig."

If PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has any backbone, he will exercise executive privilege and immediately suspend Daly from the PGA Tour for "conduct unbecoming of a professional golfer." Actually, Daly's conduct is unbecoming of a professional porn star.

Let's forget for a moment how the tour should feel about the gambling addiction Daly details in his book.

It's always amazed me why Daly is so beloved among sports fans when he is 10 times more corrupt than Terrell Owens, Barry Bonds and Ricky Williams combined. I guess it pays to be a good ol' boy white golfer.

Can you imagine how a black basketball player would be received by fans if his past included substance abuse, a domestic-violence charge, compulsive gambling, quitting in the middle of a game, smoking cigarettes during competition and bragging publicly about his girlfriend's escapades with another woman?

The black basketball player would be the most scorned athlete in sports, but Daly is perceived as some sort of loveable lug blue-collar hero whom fellow Orlando Sentinel columnist Jerry Greene said of recently on radio, "A lot of people see John Daly as themselves."

Sorry, but any man who sees himself as John Daly needs to see a shrink or a clergyman. Go ahead and raise your hand if you want to be like Big John and waste your immense talent on alcohol, tobacco, cheeseburgers, gambling and any other vice you can imagine.

Finchem can continue to keep his head buried in the bunker if he wants, but sooner or later he's going to have to deal with Daly's behavior. Daly's addiction to gambling has gone past the point of just tarnishing his own image. Anybody who claims to have lost between $50 million and $60 million in the past dozen years and owed gambling casinos as much as $4 million has the potential to become the worst scourge to hit the golf course since the chinch bug.

Imagine the possibilities: Let's say Daly and Paul Stankowski are leading the 2008 John Deere Classic, six strokes ahead of everybody else, heading into the final round. And let's say Daly, a 5:1 favorite to beat Stankowski, is millions of dollars in debt to some shady gamblers who want to place a final-round bet on Stankowski. What's to stop the gamblers from enticing Daly to throw the tournament?

"If I don't get control of my gambling, it's going to flat-out ruin me," Daly writes.

If Tim Finchem doesn't get control of Daly's gambling, it may flat-out ruin the Tour, too.

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