the difference between golfer John Daly and a 283 pound drunk sprawled
out on the floor at Hooters? John Daly can out drive any other drunken
fat guy… sprawled out on the floor at Hooters.
Actually that’s a trick question because John Daly
is always 283 pounds, always drunk, and every week, always
sprawled out on the floor at Hooters. Only reason this week was
different, someone new at the Winston-Salem Hooters called the police.
Actually, that’s not quite true. Someone from Hooters called EMS and
when Daly refused to go to the hospital, the paramedics called the
Here’s the deal: Hooters is John Daly’s biggest
sponsor, so you don’t expect an intoxicated escapade at Hooters to land
him in the pokey. You’d expect Hooters to have fronted him a cab to
escape the cops. Not only is Hooters Daly’s biggest sponsor, he’s their
biggest customer. It’s a natural marriage. Daly can walk into a place
and not have the biggest breasts. John’s face can be
beer-soaked-alcoholic-red but at Hooters folks will think he just fell
into a bucket of wing sauce. And if he has bloodshot eyes, he can blame
it on the 3-Mile-Island sauce, which he often does.
Like we say, natural marriage. Hooters tries to sell
itself as a place where good ol’ boys can have a good time. Who better
to represent a good ol’ boy having a good time than Mr “I believe
nicotine plus caffeine equals protein” Daly; a guy who has the Betty
Ford Clinic on speed dial, a guy who claims to have lost $ 50 to $ 60
million gambling, a guy who had been married three times to
good-lookers and has the knife wounds, assault charges and tabloid
divorces to prove it.
Still, despite his addictive personality and
obnoxious outbursts, fans still love him. To many fans Daly represents
the “everyman,” the non-country-clubber, the schlub who done good, the
redneck who took down the bluebloods, especially when he won the 1995
British Open. There is nothing more staid or more traditional than the
British Open. So did he attend the British open Champions Dinner? No
way. You might as well ask if NASCAR fans sip tea. He refused the
invite saying “You can’t get this fat boy into a suit.” Pleasing his
fans while not exactly enchanting himself with the Scots.
Will Hooters continue to sponsor Daly after this
incident? You think they might even play it up with a “Free Bucket of
Longnecks if You Find John Daly Sprawled Out at Your Hooters”
promotion. They could offer a John Daly Cocktail, Big Enough to Stir
with a Putter. On the other hand, promoting a responsible good time is
one thing but aligning yourself with a fall-down drunk is another. A
good example is when John Daly did a series of ads for Maxfli golf
balls titled “Go Long or Go Home.” In these ads Daly was shown chugging
beer in his golf cart, then teeing up and hitting a golf ball off
a beer can. The Golf Channel showed the spots but CBS refused to air
them. It didn’t help that when these spots were running John Daly was
checking himself once again into Betty Ford.
We know John Daly represents a backlash against
political correctness. He’s like a real life Homer Simpson… except
Simpson was never kicked off British Airways for harassing a flight
attendant. Simpson never had his swing coach quit because he found it
too hard to coach a drunk. Sad for Simpson … and Daly, but drunks don’t
get the love they once did. The Rat Pack is long gone. Frankie
Fontaine’s Crazy Gugenheim wouldn’t play today although scotch-swilling
comedian Ron White makes a go of it. Those who identify with Ron White
pull for John Daly. But even Ron White knows a fifth of bourbon and
super hot chicken wings don’t mix. The question is will Daly and
Hooters continue to mix?