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The Point After

Daly's sad story starting to sound too familiar

JR: Gary, it's 2 a.m., you absolutely have to reach John Daly, what do you do first?

GS: I curse at the career that would demand such a task out of me. And then I call the nearest Hooters. If they say he isn't there, I ask them to check in the bushes outside.

JR: I see you've done this sort of work before. Daly embarrassed himself at the PODS Championship last week, was fired by his swing coach a few days later and then was disqualified from Arnold Palmer's tournament this week in Orlando when he missed his tee time. What's more impressive: the talent he possesses or the talent he has wasted?

GS: To me, the most impressive thing is the way he still makes people care. After a while, most people grow weary of athletes who lack the discipline to overcome their vices. For some reason, they want to embrace Daly and all of his flaws. I can't understand it.

JR: I'm guessing it has to do with a good ol' boy image and the fact that he has harmed himself more than others. But your point is well-taken. Millions of people buy lottery tickets every week. This guy has a winning ticket, and he uses it like a coaster for a mug of beer. Maybe Daly seemed fun-loving in the beginning, but now it's looking more and more tragic.

GS: Usually, a guy has to sing for a rock band to be this self-destructive. I'm not sure Daly ever had the overall game to be great, but he certainly has wasted millions in earnings and billions in goodwill. Have you ever seen an athlete throw more away?

JR: Are you suggesting a game of Pinhead Poker? Because I'll open with a Michael Vick flush.

GS: Vick is a good place to start. Even if you think he was more athlete than quarterback, he was something to see. But I have always said that no one looked more like he was designed for his sport than Josh Hamilton. Josh is having a great spring training, but he still hasn't become the player he should have been.

JR: No sport is better than baseball for guys who partied their way out of the spotlight. Give me Darryl Strawberry and Steve Howe in the 1980s. David Clyde in the 1970s and Bo Belinsky in the '60s. Heck, we could go back to the 1930s to Hack Wilson, who had more RBIs in one season than any player in history and was washed up a few years later. As the story goes, his manager once dropped a worm in a glass of bourbon and the creature quickly died. He asked Wilson what that told him. "That if you drink, you won't get worms," Wilson said.

GS: Maybe that's Daly's problem. Maybe he's worried about worms!

JR: And Ricky Williams is worried about glaucoma.

GS: And Mike Tyson was worried about iron deficiency.

JR: And I'm starting to worry about being sued.

GS: I understand. I've thought about suing you myself on several occasions.

Daly's sad story starting to sound too familiar 03/15/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 15, 2008 5:53pm]
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