The recent Bobby Petrino scandal has thrust the state of Arkansas into the national spotlight and has given the rest of us an opportunity to let out a collective chortle at the Natural State’s expense. Long considered the apartment below the party, Arkansas has never been given much respect.
To call Arkansas America’s unwanted, red-headed stepchild would be an understatement. A more apt description, is that Arkansas is like the baby girl that is born to a family living under communist China’s repressive one-child policy. But, unlike the Chinese peasantry, America can’t simply discard its’ weakest link by leaving it in a grease dumpster behind a local fast food restaurant. So, since we’re stuck with ‘em, we might as well look for the good in ‘em. And the best part about Arkansas is its favorite son – John Patrick Daly, the third Honorary Member of the KCMothership.com.
Daly – who has been suspended from the PGA tour five times, placed on probation six times, cited for “conduct unbecoming a professional” 11 times, and 21 times for “failure to give best efforts” – is not your typical professional golfer.
To begin, John – or Long John as he’s known around Tour clubhouses – doesn’t look like many other professional golfers. While most of Daly’s colleagues are usually decked out in pleated Haggars and Van Heusen sweater vests, Daly has more of a good-ole-boy fashion sense. And that is putting it kindly. Let’s just say that Michael Moore thinks this guy needs to put a little more time and effort into his apparel decisions. And his style is trending downwards. In the 90’s, it was stone-washed Jordache jeans, an oversized braided leather belt, and a Big-Johnson T-shirt. Today, it is the ocular calamity that is known as Loudmouth Golfing Apparel. Let me put it to you like this – I would rather look down the barrel of a water-pistol filled with Greg Louganis’ saliva, than look at that clothing line ever again. Craig Sager considers that catalog to be breathtakingly obnoxious. I prefer my Daly au-natural.
Daly’s physique also differentiates him from his counterparts. When asked in an interview how often he exercises, the Lion responded, “I tried to, but every time I worked out, I threw up. And so I thought to myself, you can get drunk and throw up, so it’s just not for me.” I envision a long and lucrative career as a motivational speaker after his playing days are over. Daly further added, “There are probably some things I could do to keep my flexibility up, but I’d rather smoke, drink Diet Cokes, and eat. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever stepped into a gym or a health club – they won’t let me smoke in there.”
Daily’s weight eventually ballooned to 350 pounds. By this point, let’s just say he had the sex appeal of heated diarrhea. John has battled weight issues ever since he was a kid. He celebrated his 17th birthday in style by shoving “17 tacos” down his sloth-hole, before heading across the street to Burger Kind for dessert, which consisted of a “double hot-fudge sundae and a Whopper with cheese.” Hopefully his birthday present was 30 tablets of Lipitor.
John never thought his weight was an issue until he showed up to play golf for the University of Arkansas. His college coach wouldn’t let him play with the team until he lost 60 pounds. Daly took that as a personal challenge and set out to shed the LB’s and prove his coach wrong. By the spring semester, Daly was down 65 pounds thanks to a strict diet of (and I kid you not): “3 packs of Marlboro Mediums per day, dry popcorn, and Jack Daniels.” I’m guessing he was a Nutritional Science major. This diet led to his “first” alcohol-induced coma after he consumed 4 “fifths” of Jack Daniels on a stomach full of nothing more than Orville Redenbacher.
The binge-eating and yo-yo dieting continued for the next 25 years until John underwent Lap-Band Surgery in 2009 to limit his food consumption. This is the perfect example of a “first world” problem. Let me ask you this – how many Sudanese children do you know that have to get their stomachs stapled because they can’t back away from the dinner table and put down the dust-beetles?
But Daly has dropped over 100 pounds thanks to the surgery and a new diet, which consists of “4 McDonald’s double cheeseburgers per day.” Oh, but don’t worry, he doesn’t eat the buns, because all he does is “put protein in this body.” Dude, it would probably just be healthier to toot lines of Fen-Phen, at this point. I mean, his blood must circulate through his body like Elmer’s glue. But, at least he’s no longer eating “15-to-20 packs of Peanut M&M’s per round of golf.”
Although John Boy may have toned down the overeating, he’s still going strong with sodas and lung darts. Ya see, “nicotine plus caffeine equals protein.” In his autobiography My Life In and Out of the Rough: The Truth Behind All That Bulls**t You Think You Know About Me, Daly estimates that he rips close to 18,250 death sticks per annum, and over 514 GALLONS of Diet Coke – based on fifteen cans per day – every year.
After winning the 1995 British Open, JD famously chugged a Diet Coke out of the Claret Jug, which is the famed and prestigious trophy presented to the winner of this hallowed tournament. Merica, baby! Take that you Limey Redcoats. Nothing says world domination like turning another country’s esteemed national treasures into the equivalent of a makeshift Big Gulp.
John’s most notorious vice is the sauce. As previously mentioned, Daly slipped into his ‘first’ alcohol induced coma when he was a freshman in college, but this wasn’t his first dalliance with Grandpa’s cough syrup. He downed his first beer when he was 8 years old (what were you doing in the second grade?), and next developed a taste for his parents’ homemade wine. But his real predilection was Jack Daniels. It was his father’s drink of choice, and after the 14-year-old’s first sip of the Tennessee whiskey at his sister’s wedding, it became his, too.
To be more specific, JD’s drink of choice was a triple Jack Daniels on the rocks, no water, 3 at a time. Now, I don’t mean to go all Will Hunting on you and formulate a series of advanced calculus theorems on my bathroom mirror, but that’s like 9 servings of alcohol every time he orders a drink. Keith Richards thinks that’s excessive. But, as John used to always say, “Most people would be drunk for two weeks on the amount of Jack Daniels I used to have before dinner.”
Now, John may have drunk himself into a whiskey-induced coma on more than one occasion, but it’s not like he was putting anyone else in danger. Take a look at this quote regarding a drinking binge while he was playing on the South African Tour, and I’m sure you’ll feel a little safer about John’s drinking habits:
“But I was lucky I didn’t kill myself because I wasn’t used to driving on the wrong side of the road and I was drinking pretty heavy while I was there. Wrong side of the road and a lot of booze—not a good combo. One night I’d been drinking really hard—and back then, that could have been just about any night—and I was pissed off about something. Me and Jimmy McGovern and a couple of other guys were going home late from some bar. He was riding shotgun, and I ran this red light, and then another one, and pretty soon I’m like, fuck it, and I just kept on going. The guys said later I ran through 17 straight reds before they could get me to pull over so somebody else could drive.”
Who taught this guy how to operate a motor vehicle? Ted Kennedy?
When you’re rolling around .35 drunk on a nightly basis, it’s going to raise a few eyebrows. As John’s success on the course grew, more and more people became interested in JD’s extracurricular activities. The PGA ordered John to go to rehab 7 times, and his sponsors and creditors often required that he take antidepressants to ensure he wouldn’t fall off the wagon. For many years he was mixing Lithium, Prozac, Ritalin, Xanax, Valium, and a slew of other prescription meds. Dude was a walking chemistry set.
It’s tough to say if JD is still drinking. His autobiography came out in 2006, and up to that point, John had probably been to rehab about 4 times. Here is how he addressed it in a section entitled Q and A:
“Question: Are You Still Drinking? Answer: That’s a one-part question, but let me give you a two-part answer. 1.) If I was still drinking whiskey, I wouldn’t be drinking anything right now. I’d be dead. That’s the truth, and I know it. 2.) I drink beer. Miller Lite. Sometimes just a little. Sometimes more. And sometimes—not as much I used to, but sometimes—too much.”
Um, thank you for that nuanced clarification, John. Can I come to your next retox party?
John’s most recent public drinking faux pas happened in 2009 when police were called because JD was fueled out of his mind and passed out in front of a local Hooters. He got to spend the night in the drunk tank and got a fantastic glamour shot out of the incident, so it wasn’t all bad.
John is a man of many vices, but his gambling addiction is the one he fears the most. As of 2006, JD had lost around $55 million gambling over his career. Here is an excerpt from his book about a six hour gambling run he made after the 2005 AMEX Championship Golf Tournament where he lost to Tiger Woods in a playoff:
“I made $750,000 for finishing second, and generally felt pretty good. I was real disappointed I hadn’t won, but at least I’d had a really nice payday. But instead of going home and closing the 2005 PGA Tour on a high note, I went straight to Vegas. My first stop was the new Wynn Las Vegas casino, where they have this $5,000 slot machine. Within an hour and a half, I was down $600,000. There went all that hard work against Tiger. Actually, in less than five hours, I lost $1.65 million.”
$5,000 slots? $600k in 90 minutes? $1.65 million in 5 hours? I probably would have violently plunged a phillips-head screwdriver into my temporal lobe after a couple hundy, so I gotta give JD credit for not penning a farewell note and then giving a tearful mouth-hug to the cold, iron, sawed-off end of a double–barrel, 12-gauge shotgun.
And Daly absolutely loves the slots. In his book, he goes into intimate detail regarding some of his 15-hour slot sessions. Imagine what that must look like. Picture a row of blue-hairs with their Chesterfields and Benson and Hedges dangling from their wrinkly, pruney lips, pumping away their Social Security checks into the nickel slots, and then sitting right beside them, you’ve got this rubenesque figure, who is half their age, with a couple of Marlboro Mediums hanging out of his pie hole, dropping the equivalent of a Hallbrook mortgage payment with every pull of the lever. Dwarf amongst midgets. Respect.
Again, it’s tough to tell if he is still gambling:
“So here’s my plan. Every time I go to the casino, I start with the $25 slots. Plus, I set a loss number, and once I hit that number, I walk out. If I make a little bit, then maybe I move up to the $100 slots or the $500s or maybe I take it to a blackjack table. Why not try to double it? And if I make a lot …Well, that’s my plan. It’s a start.”
Well, now that we are all comfortable that John will never step foot into another casino again, let’s move onto another facet of his life – marriages.
John has been married and divorced 4 times. Somebody needs to explain to him the concept of bone and disown. You don’t have to drop a rock on everything you sleigh, hombre.
In 1987, at the ripe old age of 21, John married a hand model from Memphis named Dale. Um, Dale? Did she have a huge bulge in her throat and a very muscular back? What kind of name is that for a woman? John said the spark fell out of the marriage because of her incessant nagging about his drinking. This was right around the time he was playing on the South African Tour.
So, let me get this straight, your wife had marital concerns over the fact that you were in a foreign land squandering your meager earnings on drink and harlots, while operating heavy machinery under the influence of prescription drugs and hard alcohol? Fascist! The marriage lasted all of three years and ended amicably.
John met his second wife – Bettye – in 1992 when he was 24 and she was 29. They dated for a little over a year and had a passionate love affair. Here is John’s take on the relationship:
“It’s hard to imagine any two people having sex more often than me and Bettye. Our best single day together came on Masters Sunday in 1991. I had played that morning in the final round of the Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, an event they used to schedule the same week as the Masters for guys like me who hadn’t qualified. I shot an ugly 78 after going 68-71-68 in the first three rounds, so I was in a foul, hateful mood. That changed pretty quick, though, because me and Bettye laid up in bed and watched the whole last round of the Masters with the sound turned off, listening to Randy Travis and screwing like crazy. All told, we did it 10 times that day.”
Sounds about as romantic as the love scene in The Accused.
Unfortunately for John, their passionate love affair came to a screeching halt about 14 months into the relationship when John found out that Bettye had misrepresented a few things about herself – specifically, she wasn’t 29, but 40, and she was married with a 13 year old kid. A timeless quote from the Oscar-winning movie Kingpin comes to mind: “I’ve been liquored up for 17 years. My judgment’s not what it once was.”
“So before Christmas, I told her to pack up her shit and get out. I told her I was going back to Dardanelle to be with people I loved—and trusted. And then she dropped the P-bomb on me: she told me she was pregnant. My first reaction? Bullshit. By then I knew she’d been lying to me about just about everything else in her life—why wouldn’t she be lying about this? It’s true, she said. Prove it, I said. (Shit, she didn’t look pregnant. She looked as good as ever.) But, as it turned out, she was about four months gone.”
Four months? That’s it? Oh John, it wasn’t too late. It’s never too late. You should’ve called. I’ve got a guy in the Northwest Arkansas region who works late term. And he’s cheap, too. All you gotta pay for is the oil funnel, lighter fluid and labor. He’ll provide the stirrups.
Sounds like she may have hoodwinked him on this one. He should have demanded a Maury Povich paternity test to legitimize her claims.
John’s first child was born in June of ‘92 and I know what you all are thinking: was it a vaginal childbirth? No, it was not. She went cesarean and I think that was the right move. Those Daly kids are mighty husky. Passing a 13-lb ham hock through a two-inch gash would probably leave some serious wreckage. Torn labia; ruptured vaginal canal; collapsed uterine wall – it’d be like the gynecological equivalent to 9/11. And plus, vaginoplasties are running upwards of 20k these days, so you might as well take care of it on the front end. Good call, John.
But his second marriage fell apart almost as fast as it came together. Six months after the birth of his child, John was arrested for third-degree assault on Bettye. Although Bettye proclaimed he never actually hit her, she called the cops because she feared for her safety during one of John’s whiskey-fueled outbursts. Sounds like she was ovaryacting. The details are convoluted, and John denies ever touching her, but he ultimately pled guilty to the misdemeanor charges and the divorce papers were filed a few months later.
Six months after his divorce was finalized, John met his third wife at the Bob Hope Classic when he “was so damned hungover that he was chugging Diet Cokes like they were beers.” They were married six months after they met and she bore his second child. The relationship was tame compared to his preceding and subsequent marriages; she just grew tired of life on the road travelling in John’s RV from tournament to tournament. You can’t really blame her, can you? Would you want to shower and brush your teeth 3 feet from where John Daly drops heat?
John met his fourth wife – Sherrie Miller – in May of 2001 and married her 57 days later. Daly salted her eggs shortly thereafter and she evicted his first son – Little John – from her womb in 2003. The marriage lasted nine years but it was a very rocky nine years, to say the least. Five days after Little John popped out, Sherrie and her parents were arrested by federal authorities on drug and money laundering charges. What, no child trafficking to go along with it? What kind of crime syndicate is this? Everyone knows that’s where the money is. Amateurs.
The family was using their used car business as a shell to hide the proceeds from a large scale cocaine, methamphetamine and gambling operation. All three pled guilty and were sentenced to federal correctional facilities. Sherrie’s father was the ringleader, so he received a 2.5 year sentence, while Sherrie and her mother only got 5 months. Hopefully her father learned a lesson.
The trouble with Sherrie didn’t stop there. In 2006, John filed a complaint against her for carving up his grill with a steak knife. John and Sherrie finally divorced in 2010 after she caught John in bed with another woman. John was eventually awarded custody of Little John. So, at least there is one person in this world that John is better than.
Frankly, I could go on with JD stories for about another 20 pages, so I’m going to have to cut it off at this point. I tried to keep it as brief as I could, but the guy is absolutely fantastic and has so many stories, issues, and sayings.
So, let me leave you with one last classic JD story from his book. He was out partying with his crew in Memphis one night – crushing cow and guzzling brewskis – when he felt some tightness in his chest. He told the limo driver to beeline to the emergency room. The following story picks up about 30 minutes after he arrives at the hospital:
“That being the case, I call Sisinni in and ask him to do me a couple of favors. I ask him to bring me a cup of water, please, and he does. What he thinks I’m going to do, he told me later, is take some pills or something. What I do instead is fire up a Marlboro Light, using my cup of water as an ashtray. The next thing I ask him to do is go out and bring back a Whopper with cheese and a double order of fries. There’s a Burger King right close to the hospital, and it’s been a while since the barbecue, and I don’t know how long they’re going to keep me tied down there. And pretty soon, the doctor does come in, only the first thing he tells me is to put out my cigarette at once. Don’t I know this is a hospital? Yes, I do know it, thank you very much. And I also know that I’ve never ever before been ushered out of a hospital so fast—and without even having to get my stomach pumped.”