JohnDaly, the overweight, substance-abusing professional golfer who has been married four times, is still a fan favorite on the PGA Tour, despitewinning only a single Tour event in more than 14 years. Also,he’swhite.
“I loveJohnDaly.He’smy favorite player,” said Jake Welch, aDalyfan. “He’soverweight, has women troubles, drinks a bit too much booze, he's lazy –he’san everyman. But, oh yeah, if he wasblackI’d definitely hate him.”
Jack McClintock, the editor of Golf Monthly, agrees. “Dalyis one of golf’s most beloved players even though he never wins and often doesn't even make the cut. But put some melanin in him and he’d be a total punk thug – a Cincinnati Bengal walking around with a club; a weapon. He’severything that’s wrong with sports, except, of course,he’swhite.”
Golf insiders say Daly’s alcoholism and four marriages – including one to Sherrie Daly, who was indicted on a charge of laundering drug money – as well as his police record, weight problem, frequent suspensions, flashy clothes and poor play matter very little to a public who love the big blonde’s self-effacing manner and grip-it-and-rip-it approach on and off the course.
“Daly’s whiteness actually makes all of those negatives positives for him,” said McClintock. “It’s really quite an interesting phenomenon.”
Daly, like manyblackfootball and basketball players, even has recorded an album. But Daly’s is a country album, with songs such as “All My Exes Wear Rolexes,”notrap or hip hop. “Rap is horrendous. We didn’t need another athlete with no musical talent yelling into a mic,” said Welch. “But John’s album is just about having fun.”
Even Tiger Woods, professional golf’s poster child, has noticed the benefit of the doubt that Dalyreceives as a white guy.
“Johnis an everyday reminder for me that I can’t screw up in my personal life,” said Woods. “He's sort of a role model for me in that way. Can you imagine if I did all the stuff he has done? People would look at me like I was some kind of gangbanger. That’s why I just try to keep my mouth shut and smile a lot. Heck, I get criticized if I pump my fist too much or let a curse word slip.”