Defending John Daly

February 04, 2008

John Hawkins' column on the tribulations of John Daly has moved many of you to write. "Let up!" says California reader Ruth Wasserman:

I think that John Hawkins ought to get off his high horse and give John Daly a break.

Big John was doing okay until, aftera good round of golf at one of the Florida events, Jimmy Roberts began his post-round interview by asking how Daly felt about his wife going to prison. John looked like a deer caught in headlights and his game hasn't been the same since.

Big John doesn't belong on the Ryder Cup Team but he's fun for a lot of us to watch. Jimmy Roberts should go to Hard Copy.

Holyoke subscriber Fred King feels even more strongly.

John Hawkins comments...about John Daly shocked me. He quotes an unamed golf tournament promoter as saying of Daly "The Nascar crowd, whatever you want to call it, is why 80 to 90 percent of the events will give him an exemption...." Then Hawkins in his own words says Daly has a "grease monkey's sensibilities."

If those comments were about anyone other than a White American, you'd be in the same boat as Kelly Tilghman and she was joking, you're serious...implying that John Daly and all of us who follow him faithfully are a bunch of "grease monkeys". That reminds me of the monkey line uttered by Howard Cosell...You ought to be called into the boss' office along with the editors who let that get through.>

... and hypocritical: Your magazine, in the same issue,  has a picture plus two stories on Daly.  I guess you're giving him an exemption to sell copies. I don't blame you. I'd like to see more stories on Daly.

I do believe that Commissioner Tim Finchem hates Daly being on the Tour. He should love it !   Tim, as I admit Hawkins points out, nobody comes to see John Senden or even Stewart Cink. Daly puts people at tournaments and raises the TV ratings...

I have a lot of friends who range from factory workers to presidents of multi million dollar companies and we all like Daly. We like him because he says and does such outrageous things and because many of us smoke cigarettes and drink beer and have pot bellies, we can identify with him more than Kevin Sutherland...>

Fred goes on, but his point's made. I'm not sure I buy the "grease monkey" argument, but I agree that Daly is tremendous draw, a guy with a big heart and a player lots of us love to follow. But that doesn't stop some of us from being worried about Big John. Entertaining us isn't his only job; taking care of himself (and  his talent) would be No. 1.

--Bob Carney