It could be the premise of a sitcom. Or it could be the foundation for a reality show.
Patriots rookie quarterback Ryan Mallett and John Daly, an up-and-down golfer (both on and off the course), have struck up a friendship. Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reports that the duo went golfing on Wednesday — after Daly hooked Mallett up with clubs suited to a six-foot, six-inch frame.
Thanks to Jon Gruden, Daly has become a mentor of sorts for Mallett. And that’s where Mallett’s decision to consort with Daly exposes a serious flaw in Mallett’s judgment. By creating the perception that Daly is trying to help Mallett turn his life around, Mallett is implicitly conceding that his life was heading in the wrong direction, which then possibly gives credence to the scattered rumblings and rumors about Mallett’s past, none of which have been substantiated.
Even Daly can’t artfully whack his way out of the sand trap that the apparent I’m-helping-a-guy-who-doesn’t-really-need-help situation has created. “I’ve always believed that the press loves to write about the past, whether it’s good or bad,” Daly said. “In my life, it’s been bad. I’ve been telling him, don’t live in that past. And I don’t know about Ryan’s past. You talk to everybody about it, there’s nothing there. . . . You know the deal: If someone sees you drinking a beer, they think you’re drunk, especially if you’re a celebrity. All I know is, he’s a good kid.”
Mallett apparently doesn’t realize the message that the arrangement is sending. “He’s just trying to help me know that there are going to be people trying to bring you down,” Mallett said. “And surround yourself with good people. He’s a really good guy. He’s had his problems, and he dealt with them. He knows what he could’ve been, and he doesn’t want to see the same thing happen to other people.”
Daly may have the best of intentions, but the best thing he ever could have done for Mallett is to keep his distance, at least publicly. Regardless of where Daly is right now when it comes to the problems that derailed his golfing career, the involvement in Mallett’s life of a guy who has overcome self-inflicted wounds strengthens the notion that Mallett is trying to do the same thing, which contradicts his strongly-stated position that there are no self-inflicted wounds to overcome.