John Daly: Fat Man in Little Tunnel

Madcap golfer drives his big bus into a short tunnel, tearing off the roof. But are his pants okay?

By Janie Campbell
|  Monday, Jun 22, 2009  |  Updated 10:07 AM PDT
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John Daly can judge wind, distance, and the slope of a green, but not if his bus is too tall to drive into a tunnel. Perhaps his pants burned his retinas.

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Golf has not historically enjoyed the common popularity that baseball and football do in the United States, in part because they're just not like us. That's why we find John Daly so loveable.

He drinks hard, just like us. He wears a mullett, like people we laugh at.  He drives his own RV around to tournaments, and he'll sell his own clothing line from that RV outside the gates of Augusta National.  He'll pass out in a Hooters, just like us, and plow through cigarettes, women, dinner, and whiskey like it's his last day on Earth.  He'll get angry, get suspended, and get banished to Europe, just like we hope to be one day.  He's a bull in polka-dotted pants in the china shop of the disciplined, decorous PGA, and that makes us laugh.

He will also drive his RV into a tunnel it doesn't fit into, just like...well, sometimes we do get confused by street signs.

Daly, who's on the upswing of his billionth comeback attempt, was driving his daughter to Florida last week to get lap band surgery (just like him!) when he attempted to drive through the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile, Alabama without shearing off the top of his bus.  It was not successful.

“In 17 years of driving a bus, I’ve never had an experience like this,” Daly told the Associated Press. “The sign said ‘No trucks, cargo or hazardous material in the right lane.’ I’m reading the sign and don’t see the (clearance) footage. I’m think I’ve got to go to the left lane, and before I know it, the roof is torn out.”

Daly, who further stated via twitter that "signs were too LATE and chains were NOT down to prevent--statistics show this happens multiple times week--No Clearance on the Tunnel AT ALL," wasn't harmed, though parts of his vehicle did hit an oncoming car.

A Cadillac driven by Jimmy Roberson of Mobile survived damage to the windshield, roof and trunk, according to the police report.  Now Roberson is claiming to be injured, which is also very Daly-ish: minor incidents spiral into the most encumbering of personal problems at the worst possible time (just like the rest of us).

"Unreal," said Daly of the legal aftermath, further noting he wasn't "sited" [sic] and was unaware of any injuries at the time of the crash. 

It's hard not to feel for the flabbergasted Daly, though naturally he'll have a drink and muddle through as always. And really, it could have happened to any hard-living, hard-driving, soft-putting lunatic everyman in clown pants.

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