Corporate sponsorships and sports have a long history.

But in the last 20 years, at least over the time period that I have been a die-hard sports fan, it seems like corporate sponsorships have gone to a new level. For instance, how many bowl games in college football have ridiculous names because of corporate sponsorships?

The Waste Management Phoenix Open...brought to you buy trash. (Image: helloerica/Flickr)

How about the PapaJohns.com Bowl or the competing Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl? The sponsors take over the bowl and drop the traditional name. I still call Atlanta’s bowl game the Peach Bowl and not the Chick-Fil-A bowl.

Anyway, I say all this because this week’s tournament on the PGA Tour reminded me of this trend. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is underway. Fabulous.

It’s not like the PGA hasn’t had corporate sponsors for years: Buick, AT&T, BMW, Coke. But something about the ridiculousness of this week’s tournament name reminded me of the ridiculousness of college football bowl games. Perhaps the Waste Management Phoenix Open’s slogan is: “Welcome to the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Don’t poop on the players.”

In this down economy, the Tour needs sponsors, so even a company that is full of crappy, stinky poo is fair game. All we need now is a port-a-potty endorsement from John Daly and we are good to go. The advertisement could go something like this:

“Hi. I’m John Daly. When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. That’s why Big John’s Port-a-Johns are here for you. Next time you just can’t wait, take a quick sprint across the 7th fairway, hop in to one of Big John’s Port-a-Johns, and do your business in peace. You’ll be able play the rest of your round with a relaxed stomach and a relaxed swing. With Big John’s Port-a-Johns, you can drop your business while you drop your scores. That’s what we’re all about. Thanks.”

So what do you think? The beauty of corporate sponsorships is that you never really know. As crazy as it sounds, do you really think John Daly wouldn’t endorse a port-a-potty company for a couple of million?

Coming in 2011: The Michael Jordan Hanes Underwear Los Angeles Open.

This ghastly photo of a shirtless John Daly has Game Under Repair's traffic through the roof.

So I logged on to my blog on Tuesday and noticed a tremendous spike in blog visits.

Tuesday’s traffic was more than six times the normal amount, much of it directed to a one-year-old blog post about John Daly. I investigated the situation and found out Daly has lost 115 pounds since last year. He’s shockingly thin. When you do an image search for John Daly, my blog comes up quickly. There lies the reason for the high traffic.

While working as a writer for Dave Ramsey’s website, I’ve learned a little about search engine optimization (SEO), which is basically the practice of using key words and terms to bring people to your site via search engines like Google.

I’ve used some of those tricks on my blog, but this John Daly post is quite interesting. It’s amazing how a short 200 word post I wrote in about 10 minutes over a year ago turns into the most popular all-time post on my blog.

So…thank you, John Daly. Your story about extreme weight loss has brought thousands of new visitors to my blog.

Carry on Big John.

john daly

JD in his heavier days. Can he keep the weight off? (Image:scubaeddie32/Flickr)

Just when you thought John Daly’s game was done–with the arrests, the binge drinking, the hawking of merchandise in the Augusta National parking lot–the two-time major winner is rediscovering his game in Europe.

Daly closed with a final round 66 at the BMW Italian Open to finish tied for second in the Euro Tour event. Big John is playing in Europe while serving his six month suspension on the PGA Tour. For those not in the know, an intoxicated Daly spent the night in the slammer in October after passing out in a Hooters parking lot. John Daly at a Hooters? Shocking.

Since the self-professed lowpoint, Daly has dropped 60 pounds, changed his swing, and added a European feel to his wardrobe. From the looks of his clothing, let’s say it appears Daly might be hanging with Ian Poulter these days.

John has played four events on the European Circuit, making three cuts and banking more than $187,000–good for 79th on the money list. He shot steady rounds of 69-69-69-66 last week for his second place finish.

The Washington Times reports that Daly will use a sponsor exemption to attempt his PGA Tour comeback at the St. Jude Classic on June 11-14.  Let’s hope this latest run isn’t just a flash in the pan, and Daly is actually making a lifestyle change. He’s too good of a golfer to waste away his talent like he has during the last decade.

A couple of weeks ago, John Daly was arrested after passing out drunk in a Hooters parking lot. But that’s not all.

Josh Peter of Yahoo! Sports writes that Daly is now hawking his merchandise in Vegas hotels. Apparently, sponsorship money is drying up (Hooters is all he has left), and his golf game pretty much sucks these days. Apparently, Daly is going broke. The Pete Rose route is all he has left.

All you need to know about John Daly.

All you need to know about John Daly.

For $40, you can get an autographed pin flag. $20 will get you an autographed hat or photo. And for a mere $10, John will sign a golf ball for you.

How sad is that for a man who has won two majors? Somewhere in my mind, I want to see Daly clean up his act, settle down, and take golf seriously again. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll be motivated by the current hell he is living in and become more than golf’s equivalent of a circus act sideshow.

It would be a great story. But I don’t think it will happen. Sadly, I think Daly may be past the point of no return. He seems to embrace this stuff–the redneck antics, the drunken cowboy nonsense. And how old is he now? Sad, sad stuff.

Read Josh Peter’s great feature story on Daly’s current life.