July 31, 2005

Daly Sues Sports Columnist for Defamation: Golfer John Daly has sued a Florida Times-Union sports columnist for libel. During the Player's Championship near Jacksonville, Daly opened the local paper to find a Mike Freeman column that ran down his "Thug Life" record: "Domestic violence accusations? Yup. Substance abuse issues? Unfortunately. Three different kids from three different moms, making him the Shawn Kemp of golf? Yes. A former wife indicted for laundering illegal drug profits? Roger that."

posted by rcade to golf at 09:24 AM - 13 comments

What's Daly's problem? That's why America loves him. He's a wife-beating drunk like the rest of us.

posted by smithnyiu at 10:04 AM on July 31

People may love John for who he is but Mike Freeman is going to get his pants sued off.

posted by dbt302 at 10:22 AM on July 31

Aside from the use of the plural in the phrase "accused of smacking women around," everything Freeman wrote is easily backed up. From People Weekly; 1/18/1993:

Back in the summer of 1990, golfer John Daly, in the midst of a minor-league tournament in Maine, woke up in a hospital bed. By his count, he had swigged 15 Jack Daniel's and Cokes before lapsing into an alcohol-induced coma. ... On Dec. 19, after drinking beer at a party in his five-bedroom Castle Pines, Colo., home, Daly, 26, went into a rage, upending a big-screen TV and punching holes in the walls. He also allegedly assaulted his wife, Bettye, 40. "He just lost it," she told police four days later, claiming that Daly, her husband of less than a year, threw her up against a wall and pulled her hair when she asked a guest to stop his girlfriend from "hitting on" John.
Even if there's never been another accusation of domestic abuse, which I regard as unlikely given this reported incident and his alcoholism, I don't see how Daly thinks he can win this. The suit will just give the press a chance to examine all of his misdeeds again.

posted by rcade at 11:29 AM on July 31

The column is mean-spirited, but I doubt Daly will succeed in doing anything except, as rcade pointed out, having other media members dredge up his past. Having said that ... He is, after all, supposed to be a professional golfer, not a defensive tackle. What the hell does Daly's weight have to do with his golf? Are they sprinting from hole to hole now? Posing nude on the tee box? That's just an unnecessary shot ... and I bet Freeman has a small penis.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:51 AM on July 31

I'm not a fan of Freeman's work. He seems to always take the easy shot, whether it's cheap or just tired, and doesn't back up his criticism sufficiently. I think his claim that David Duval isn't trying to beat his slump ought to be more controversial than the Daly remarks. On what does he base the idea that Duval isn't trying?

posted by rcade at 12:05 PM on July 31

I hope Daly wins. Go get him John! btw, Who reads this moron's columns?

posted by mikemora at 12:33 PM on July 31

Not to mention the fact that this guy ALLEGEDLY, Lied about his qualifications to get this job in the first place.

posted by volfire at 01:14 PM on July 31

a sports pundit taking cheap shots? why I never

posted by markovitch at 06:49 PM on July 31

Freeman's column pretty much capsulizes what I detest about certain types of sportswriter. Wrote Freeman: "It is always interesting to observe what behavior fans and media will tolerate from athletes. A hard-working Jaguars safety asks for more money and a trade and it's Armageddon. Daly hasn't played but one or two decent rounds of golf lately, abuses his body, is accused of smacking women around and fans are lined up five rows deep outside the ropes to get his autograph. Remarkable." Freeman is either stupid, or he thinks his readers are. When a "hard-working safety" threatens to bolt the team, the outrage is directly proportionate to the quality of his play and the amount of money he wants, which is important because any raise he receives goes against the cap. Unless the Jags are ready to win a Super Bowl, more money for that guy will hurt the team. Giving in to that safety will allow the team to remain at the least at the same level, but with little hope for improvement unless they can spend more to upgrade other positions or his level of play improves. If Daly is waddling all over the golf course and missing cuts left and right, exactly who is it that he is letting down? His fans? Nonsense. His fans know who he is, and what they're getting when they hitch their wagons to his star. He's only letting himself down. And so what if he is? Who suffers if he can't rise to prominence again after winning two tour events and a truckload of perhaps undeserved attention? Nobody except him. TrimSpa will abandon him if he packs on more pounds after serving as the male Anna Nicole Smith, TrimSpa's other compensated endorser. If he double-bogeys every other hole in the opening rounds, there will be no reason for the Redneck people to pay him to screw up. I don't know if there is enough for Daly to prevail in a suit, but it's pretty clear that Freeman went out of his way to make Daly seem worse than he is -- especially with the comparison to Shawn Kemp, who is infamous for philandering and not paying support to mothers of his illegitimate children, not for being a multiple married father. A little bit of context to his last reported domestic violence incident also would have been useful; it was thirteen years ago. There are so many people who are printed on dead trees several times a week who look down on bloggers because we aren't "professional." The only thing that makes a pro a pro is that they get paid for what they do -- it hasn't a thing to do with quality. From what I read of Freeman, he's one of those guys who is employed in just about every Major League metropolis; the designated urinator, who writes mean things "just to sell papers," even when he can smell his own putrid breath and knows he's full of schtuff and nonsense.

posted by L.N. Smithee at 02:52 AM on August 01

Daly hasn't played but one or two decent rounds of golf lately In light of that, it was awfully clever of him to finish 5 under par, tied for 15th (earning 46,286 in the process) in the greatest championship in the world three weeks ago. ...who burst onto the scene because chicks dig the long ball. All those wasted years of practice, when it turns out your world ranking is based on what the 'chicks' love (suddenly got a lot more respect for Monty). I can't believe someone pays that nobber to write a column - grammatical errors aside (and I suppose an editor has to take some of the blame for those) - there's no story. It's like this Muppet just woke up the other day and thought 'Daly's a fat, alcoholic wife-beater and Duval's in a slump, and yet everyone still likes both of them more than they like me!' and then spewed out a mockery of a column about it.

posted by JJ at 05:19 AM on August 01

mAybe it was this guy who tried to interview Kenny Roger's at the police station?

posted by volfire at 08:27 AM on August 01

In other news, welcome to L.N. Smithee, an apparently thoughtful and learned new member! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to see if I have putrid breath. I already know about the being full of schtuff thing.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:55 AM on August 01

I guess Freeman's trying to say that talented sportsmen in golf like Daly and Duval get a free pass that others don't get. For example, rcade asks "on what does he base the idea that Duval isn't trying?" Very good and fair question, but also one that doesn't get asked when it comes time to bash athletes in football and basketball. Anyone familiar with media law will find that there's not much of a leg for Daly to stand on.

posted by jackhererra at 01:50 PM on August 01

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