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Advice to John Daly: Suing Kids Is No Way to Win Fans

Jun. 10, 2010     By     Comments (8)

Whether his $100 million injury lawsuit has merit or not, the public is fixating on who it is he's naming as defendants.

Thrash TalkNo matter how far his golf game has fallen, one thing about John Daly that's at an all-time high is his inability to recognize a PR nightmare before it happens.

The latest debacle involving Daly comes via reports in the Palm Beach Post that the two-time major champion has filed a lawsuit over a rib injury suffered during the 2007 Honda Classic. He's seeking $100 million, which is enough to get some guffaws, but in and of itself wouldn't create any uproar. Until you find out one of the parties named in the suit is the children's charity that benefits from proceeds brought in by the Honda Classic.

The rap sheet on Daly is long and storied. It includes torn up hotel rooms, incidents with wives and girlfriends, and is highlighted by the day he decided to sleep with his eyes open outside a Hooters. Those are just the ones that involved the authorities. Never mind the legendary tales of boozing and gambling. Or the day he decided to play without a shirt or shoes.

Bear in mind, earlier this year I was all set to root for Daly. I figured that the weight loss, the TV show and the apparent renewal of interest in the game would make him the season's best reclamation project. Add in his loyal Twitter following and he was ready to burst back on the scene. Golf Channel gave him premium on-course coverage (in a blatant attempt at cross-promotion) and the sponsor exemptions were pouring in. He even managed to make a few cuts. But on the course, there has been little flash or flair, aside from his gaudy new wardrobe.

It can't be cheap to hustle around the country in that sweet RV, and Daly's Tour earnings sure aren't footing the bill. Certainly it's going to take an awful lot of awful outfits for Loud Mouth to start stuffing the bank account. America loves a fallen star, a rehab project, someone who's hit rock bottom and wants to turn it around. It certainly doesn't hurt when that star was one of the most charismatic characters of the PGA Tour during the heights of his career.

But once again, Daly has become a public relations disaster.

Let's take a step back and see it through sober eyes. A favorite tactic of many lawyers is the carpet bomb approach: Sue everyone who possibly has an insurance policy and pray for a generous settlement. This explains how Daly's lawsuit could have escalated so quickly, from the host resort and the event itself, to the charity that benefitted from the proceeds. There's no shortage of tales heralding Daly's generosity, so I'd never believe he sat in an attorney's office, rubbing his hands together in a devilish manner, telling the guy behind the desk, "Let's take the Children's Healthcare Charity for all it's worth, BWAHAHA BWHAHAHA."

But that's not stopping the media and the fans from latching onto the most juicy and deplorable aspect of this entire episode.

Within hours of the news of this Honda Classic lawsuit, there was disgust spewing across the Internet.

On Twitter, the outlet where Daly speaks to his fans more than just about any athlete out there, he's being excoriated in 140 characters or less:

"John Daly is a complete freakin dirtbag. Total scumbag!" wrote WIUScott.

"I just lost all remaining respect for John Daly suing kid's charity for BS injury claim," said CliqueInBound.

On another popular golf message board, Daly's taking a pounding.

"Responsibility and Self-Control have become pretty rare characteristics, John's never had either which is why he is where he is. However, I think he hit a new low--suing a childrens charity?" asked  one commenter, while another noted, "Lots of class…most of it low. Suing? A Children's charity ? Is this a bad movie ? C'mon John…please go away. Now." 

Curiously, Daly's been missing from Twitter since the news broke. It will be interesting to see how he responds.

I can actually see some merit in his suit. He's long said that the rib injury devastated his career. If security was actually allowing the woman in question to jump in front of the players to take photographs, then someone should be held responsible, the same way she (or her family) would have filed lawsuits out the wazoo had someone actually planted a Pro V1 into her skull.

But in sports, where endorsement money is everything - and when you're John Daly and you've made $70,000 on the course this year, it really is everything - it's all about image. And sadly, Daly's track record means a large chunk of the public will see this as confirming their awful opinion of this fallen champion.

Play Your Way In
A day after finishing 1-2 at the Memorial, Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler failed to qualify for the U.S. Open. If you ask me, the unique qualifying process for competing in our national championship helps make it special. I love the idea that Davis Love III and his Hall of Fame career need to play their way into the field, just as a dentist with a scratch handicap might.

The list of guys who made it through a 36-hole qualifier is interesting, if only because of how many Tour mainstays had to take that route. Major winners Love III, Ben Curtis and Tom Lehman all made it, as did Stuart Appleby and Brian Davis.

I'm just shocked Davis didn't get a special exemption thanks to his much ballyhooed playoff penalty. I never root against a guy, but please let Davis start 78-75 so we don't need a Sunday afternoon 5-minute gag-worthy essay on how Davis' heroic act of honor is creating world peace, ending world hunger, and capping the oil geyser.

Discussion

  1. Joe Dean says:

    Daly is an idiot as you have proven in the paragraphs above. When you deal with an idiot, you cannot assume rational thinking is part of the equation. To Daly nothing is off-limits. He is trash, and will never be more than that. "You cain't get above your raisin."

    As for the lawsuit, the charity itself may be listed, but I think we all know that there is a liability policy covering the charity... and thats the money John is after. If he were to get a settlement, he would not be taking anything from the kids, just the insurance company.

  2. P-Gunna says:

    People are taking the charity part out of context, and I guarantee there is more to the story. If I was a professional athlete who needed his/her body to put food on the table, and got injured by a fan who was repeatedly pointed out as a danger I would file a lawsuit as well.

    People want any excuse to demonize John Daly, but he is entitled to compensation and nobody is stopping children from getting care so stop being such a sensationalist.

    Some of the articles on this site make me shake my head, like the one celebrating the retirement of Lorena Ochoa so she can be replaced by "real personalities"? please...

  3. ER says:

    Daly is an idiot as you have proven in the paragraphs above. When you deal with an idiot, you cannot assume rational thinking is part of the equation. To Daly nothing is off-limits. He is trash, and will never be more than that. "You cain't get above your raisin."As for the lawsuit, the charity itself may be listed, but I think we all know that there is a liability policy covering the charity... and thats the money John is after. If he were to get a settlement, he would not be taking anything from the kids, just the insurance company.

    As with any insurance policy, what do you think will happen if the insurance company had to pay out to a settlement? Yes, the rates/cost for the insured would go up, which means less money for them to spend on actual charitable work, so your assertion that this would have NO impact on the kids or the charity is simply not true. However, I do agree, Daly is acting quite the tool. I watched his reality show and thought after that, that he was actually a pretty cool guy and misunderstood, but now, I think he is just looking for excuses for his crappy play and looking for alternative source of income.

  4. Carlos says:

    I am sure there is more context behind the story, and John Daly being such a public figure will undoubtedly receive more and more criticism.

  5. Chris Warne says:

    I have to agree with Mr Gunna on all the points he makes.

    John is playing some reasonable golf at the moment and is making a genuine effort to get his golf and life back on track. His efforts may prove to be too little too late but he deserves respect for this not condemnation. It's too easy to kick people on the way down.

    Please bring more constructive and informative articles to the table (Eric where are you?) or I fear you will lose what little interest remains.

  6. Cornbread says:

    I think this article in itsself is pretty sad. For you to make assumptions and spread gossip without knowing the details makes you worse than the party you are belittling. Lawyers are lawyers, and they are all about greed. John Daly possibly doesn't even know the details of what is taking place. Futhermore, this tabloid journelism does not suit the Game of Golf and frankly I am disappointed in Thesandtrap.com for taking part in and adding to it. What's next, you hire Jerry Springer or Geraldo Rivera to write your columns! Please...

  7. Foz says:

    Ditto what Cruz said.

  8. Joe Dean says:

    I think this article in itsself is pretty sad. For you to make assumptions and spread gossip without knowing the details makes you worse than the party you are belittling. Lawyers are lawyers, and they are all about greed. John Daly possibly doesn't even know the details of what is taking place. Futhermore, this tabloid journelism does not suit the Game of Golf and frankly I am disappointed in Thesandtrap.com for taking part in and adding to it. What's next, you hire Jerry Springer or Geraldo Rivera to write your columns! Please...

    Wow, I think this has gotten out of hand! This article makes reference to factual documents... that's really not what I'd call "tabloid journalism"... and to say that Daly might not know the details of a lawsuit he filed is laughable!! John Daly is as uncooth as they come, and this incident is par on his course. But, bottom feeders do stick together so I'm not suprised at the support Daly still gets.

    Ron, I enjoy your articles and I enjoy "Thrash Talk." If this website is lacking anything it is in the golf club review area... thats how I found this site to begin with. Opinion pieces are nice, and they are a nice filler in between club reviews, but the reason I check this site is to know about upcoming equipment. You guys are the only ones doing legitimate club reviews and your advice holds water with me. There are a number of irons, woods, wedges, and shafts out there that haven't been reviewed by your team, and I would love to see a few of them in the future. Just my observation...

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