Anna Nicole's Tabloid Life and Sudden Death - A Cautionary Tale for John Daly
Talk about wall-to-wall coverage! If you were awake for even a small part of this weekend, chances are you heard more than you ever wanted to about the dysfunctional life and premature death of pop culture icon Anna Nicole Smith. News of her death was presented by major networks and serious journalists as shocking and unbelievable. But didn't most of us suspect that there wasn't going to be a happy ending to this story. I think we did, but a train wreck is still shocking, even if you see it coming... and Anna Nichole's life was the classic celebrity train wreck.
And that's where John Daly comes in. JD, with his tumultuous life, has been deemed a train wreck by scores of journalists and bloggers, in the golf world and beyond. When I googled John Daly train wreck, I got 154,000 hits. Really. This represents hundreds and hundreds of articles.
Beyond the basic train wreck label, the more minute details of these two big lives are also eerily similar. There are the obvious physical and cultural similarities: Both, big, pneumatic American blondes with southern roots, trailer park tendencies and addictive personalities. In each case those personalities led to substance abuse, hard partying, casino carousing and continual weight struggles. They also contributed to multiple marriage meltdowns and astonishing reversals in both career and fortune. And at about the same time, each of these 40ish pop culture phenoms achieved what's become the ultimate goal for a celebri-novelty act: She and He both became their own reality shows.
And here's where we have to hope the two stories diverge. As news of Anna Nicole's untimely death was being regurgitated by the likes of Larry King and Brian Williams. John Daly was strolling the wet, windy fairways of Pebble Beach, smoking his customary Marlboros. I'm sure he heard the news and I'd be surprised if he didn't pause somewhere inside himself with at least a hint of recognition. He ultimately failed to make the cut at Pebble, but said he felt he was "close to playing really well." adding, "I can feel it. I just gotta get some breaks." Those of us who really like John Daly have to hope he does.