Redemption for John Daly, none for Terrell Owens?

Double standard on forgiveness exists thanks to Owens' attitude, 'Mouth Diarrhea'

The Orlando SentinelJuly 20, 2010 

ORLANDO, Fla. — Could someone kindly show me the Terrell Owens rap sheet that has earned him eternal public and professional damnation?

And if you find it, then let's compare notes with that of John Daly. I'm quite sure Daly's is more vast considering he has nearly two decades of personal and professional destruction.

But Daly's slate was just about wiped clean with one inspired round of golf at the 2010 British Open. He shot a 66 in the first round Thursday and catapulted himself into the ray of positive light again. Stories about a potential comeback were a spinning. His circus explosion pants seemed more comical than crazy. One golf fan even held up a sign "Daly for President" as shown on the Rick Reilly ESPN television story titled "John Daly: The Comeback?"

Daly is lovable and rootable. Again.

Don't get me wrong. John Daly contending for a championship on a course where he won 15 years ago to the back story of tackling alcoholism, gambling and domestic issues is a story for the ages.

I wish him well.

That being said, watching the reactions to the plights of John Daly and Terrell Owens this past week highlighted a double standard.

Some people are redeemable, while others are not.

Owens made media rounds on talk shows last week to promote his reality show and recently complained to The Associated Press about the fact that he has not been picked up by an NFL team yet. "They're always focused on what has happened earlier in my career," he said. "It's not like I can't play. There is some type of influence that they're making in the minds of teams and owners and GMs."

Cue the violins. Owens is a habitual complainer and a Diana Ross-sized diva. But last time I checked, mouth diarrhea isn't a crime.

Daly is a recovering alcoholic. So we know at some point Daly lived his life in a manner that could have harmed others around him. Had he gotten behind the wheel on one of his drinking binges and harmed or killed someone, this discussion would be null and void.

And, by the way, Daly actually has a rap sheet.

So let's review. Daly can be redeemable because he's never done push-ups in his front yard for a camera crew. Daly is accepted because he owns up to his "damaged" persona. And Daly has climbed to 69th on the PGA Tour points list and has one great day in the British Open. This makes him the comeback king?

But Owens is banished in his sport and to the public because he says really stupid things. Owens is being called "washed up" by some critics despite managing 829 receiving yards and five touchdowns with a very dysfunctional Buffalo Bills team last season.

Let's not forget just two seasons ago this old man was projected to be a Super Bowl contender (prior to Jessicagate) with the Dallas Cowboys and still finished with 1,000 plus yards.

Owens needs an attitude adjustment, but he doesn't deserve to be shown the door.

To Daly's fortune, he plays a sport where his lifestyle has no bearing on his employment status. As long as he has sponsors, plays well enough and shows up sober, he can compete.

Funny thing is, Daly and Owens aren't much different in personalities. Both are divas with self-appointed nicknames who demand attention.

Both have felt misunderstood and harshly judged throughout their careers. But fortunately, the stars have aligned, once again, for one of them.

"But as long as there's a St. Andrews, Daly will have a chance," Reilly said in his ESPN piece.

Maybe Owens should just retire and go play golf.

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