Dustin Johnson, parking tickets and the failure to pay attention

Dustin Johnson is a professional golfer.  I’m not really a professional anything.  Dustin Johnson has earned $7.5 million dollars over his career.  I made $200 tending bar last Saturday night.  Other than that, Dustin and I have quite a bit in common.

I recently got a parking ticket.  I’m considering not paying it.  I parked my car in a perfectly legal parking space.  There were no ‘No Parking’ signs anywhere to be found.  I had parked there many times before without ever receiving a fine.  But for some reason, when I got back to my car after work that night, there was that little yellow slip taunting me from underneath my windshield wiper.  The fine was thirty dollars.

As with most tickets, I thought I had thirty days to protest the fine.  Weeks later, when I read the back of the ticket, I found I actually only had seven days to do so.  My failure to pay attention to the rules cost me an extra ten dollars, so now I’m into the city of Tampa for forty bucks, if I decide to pay it at all.

Recently, Dustin Johnson found himself in a similar predicament, just with a little more at stake.  In this year’s PGA Championship, on the 72nd hole of his tournament and a major victory in sight, Dustin Johnson grounded his club in what he thought wasn’t a bunker, but actually was.  That is a rules violation.  His gaffe cost him very possibly his first major, four places in the tournament and over a million dollars.  And to think I was just complaining about a ten spot.

Immediately after the tourney, broadcasters, critics and fans nationwide came to Johnson’s defense, complaining about the Tour, its officials, the course and the rule.  Critics complained that the course wasn’t properly labeled, which it was.  People said the tourney official could have warned him, even though it’s not his responsibility.  Others barked that the course, Whistling Straits, had too many bunkers and that the golfers weren’t properly informed, which they were.  Just like my parking violation, I didn’t pay attention to detail and have only myself to blame.  Just like Dustin Johnson.

Johnson actually took the high road after the tournament, taking full responsibility for his error, but other golfers had his back.  One professional even joked that golfers never pay attention to the course information officials give them.  Um… they might want to start.

Dustin Johnson will continue his professional golfing career, still major-less to date.  He’ll be fine once he shakes this off.

As for me, I’ll probably end up paying that parking ticket since, after Sunday, I feel a little bit better about coughing up that forty bucks.

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47 Replies to “Dustin Johnson, parking tickets and the failure to pay attention”

  1. I can understand that ticket if you were working in Ybor City. I think they make the rules up there as they go along.
    What’s your opinion on the lady golfer that was disqualified for taking practice swings while waiting on the group ahead of her?

  2. With the government groping for dollars anywhere and everywhere nothing surprises me anymore. You say you parked in this same spot several times before? No signs? Yeah… Shame on you for the fine print. Pay up!

    Johnson’s gaffe cost him a lot… Just think of the endorsements!

    Check this out Chris:

    Like I said… Anywhere and everywhere… You get compensated for the advertising on your blog? Do you, as a good citizen, report it? Hold on tight, man.

    How’s the song go? Ta Tump, Ta Tump, Ta Tump… They’re coming to take me away! HA HA… To the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time!

    Hang in man!

  3. Chris

    Pay the fine rather than having them revoke your license.

    Johnson if he doesn’t fully understand the rules should’ve asked an official for a clear ruling during the tournament . Instead he simply showed what a buffoon he was. Not only that but he grounded his club before taking a legitimate shot . What moron does that during a tournament without realizing the implications ?

    Tiger and Elin are no more so that now means there’s now one “hot” Swedish blonde on the market worth conservatively upwards of $100 million if not more ? The Situation will grab that piece of a_s for sure . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Matt Leinart is now making JaMarcus Russell seem almost cerebral in his play. I’ve always maintained that qb’s under the Carroll’s regime were somewhat overrated and coddled. When they face real adversity on the field of play in the NFL they’re like deers caught in front multiple sets of headlights.
    I for one believe that the jury is still out on both Palmer and Sanchez !


    tophatal ………. 🙂

  4. Sometimes you have to let a couple of parking tickets build up before you are forced to pay them, believe me, they will make you pay them eventually!

    I agree paying attention to rules is important, but sometimes there’s just not enough time to do that. Hopefully next time DJ’s caddie will step in. It’s a shame you don’t have a caddy to let you know when you’ve parked in a hazardous area!

  5. Aer…

    Parking if a bitch in Ybor, that’s for sure.

    Fortunately I know some people who know some people.

    And I hadn’t heard about that golfer. Got a link tot he story?

    I’ll be the first to admit that some of golf’s rules are ridiculous and there are many that I break when I play. I mean, that four hours is supposed to be about personal enjoyment, right?

  6. Dwin…. so much for personal freedoms, huh? Big Brother wants a piece. We both knew it was only a matter of time.

    I actually applied for a SportsChump credit card and thought about incorporating.

    Then I’d appoint myself CEO and get one of those big, fat leather chairs for my boardroom where I can discuss future ideas with myself.

  7. I think Chris is right that it is his fault. They handed out a local rules sheet before the tournament. He should have read it.

    As for Julie Inkster…same type of thing. She has won 6 or 7 major championships. She knows she can’t take practice swings with a donut on her club during competition. I think she left it on by mistake then didn’t realize it until it was too late. Both of these situations stink for sure and are a bit petty. Rules are rules though.

    I would fight the ticket if you are right that you were OK to park there.

  8. Chap…


    A personal passenger… or maybe just a conscience that travels with you.

    For example, he can talk you out of talking to that fat girl at last call. Maybe.

    I think you’re on to something.

  9. Back to the Dustin Johnson debacle. His caddy should have read the local rules and or informed him if nothing else. That is why you have a caddy. He does the legwork for you. Whether that is walking the course and marking yardage, carrying the bag, reading local rules or whatever the golfer asks of him.

    It falls on Dustin Johnson shoulders…maybe he needs a new caddy.

  10. Chris

    On the course Tiger knows the rules. Off the course the only rule he lives ar by use the sand wedge whenever possible but most of the time use the “9 iron” if you know what I mean ?

    Cutler , Leinart and Quinn are overrated. Neither of those guys have any heart much less balls to be looked upon as leaders ! Ricky Martin could make each of ’em his bitch and as we all know he’s gay .

    Manny in Chicago with Ozzie could either be a storm in a teacup or one hell of a blowout if the two don’t see eye to eye. How do you see it all panning out ?

    Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan should sort out their diffrences like men. Let ’em either duke it out or simply shut the hell up once and for all !

    tophatal ……. 🙂

  11. Speaking of parking, I need to park my car on the side of the road in front of my house to sell it. It needs a license plate on the front. The only ones I have are the ones in the yard sale, the “GATOR” ones and in Bulldawg country, I don’t think it would help sell it, although my nephew drove around PROUDLY with it on his vehicle! Any thoughts to expanding your trademark from t-shirts to license plates? OK, I’m finished. Carry on.♥

  12. Good point, D.

    I haven’t heard whether DJ’s fired his caddy but that’s certainly a good reason to do so.

    I’m pretty sure J-Puc would never do that while caddying for you.

  13. Well, Al, Tiger is now once again free to whore around. Maybe he needs a slumpbuster, huh? Perhaps a return trip to Perkins is in order.

    I don’t think Cutler’s in the same sorry category as Quinn or Leinart. Not even close. We’ll see what happens this season. I do agree with you though. They’ll get rid of Lovie before they get rid of Cutler.

    And both Manny and Ozzie in Chicago? That should make for some interesting press conferences. Subtitles anyone?

  14. See, Ath?

    For basketball fans, DJ means Dennis Johnson, the late point guard for those championship Supersonic and Celtics teams.

    You know I only talk NASCAR when I’m forced to.

  15. Chris

    I hear that the guys from Jersey Shore now want Tiger to be a part of their posse ?

    Come on Chris , the only thing that separates Cutler from Leinart , Quinn and perhaps now Bradford may well be his IQ level . Those guys are all cut from the same cloth ego-wise .

    tophatal ……. 🙂

  16. Chris Humpherys

    And you thought Dustin Johnson was an idiot ? Look at this story and tell me why you think that a PGA golfer has any damn brains to begin with ?

    Furyk disqualified from Barclays for being late

    PARAMUS, N.J. (AP)—Jim Furyk picked a bad time to sleep in.

    Furyk overslept Wednesday after his cell phone alarm clock lost power overnight, causing him to be late for his pro-am tee time in The Barclays. That left PGA Tour officials no choice but to disqualify him from the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events.

    A two-time winner on tour this year, Furyk is No. 3 in the standings as the race for the $10 million prize gets under way at Ridgewood Country Club without him.

    It is unlikely he will fall too far down the standings, although he eliminated any chance of improving.

    “I’m kicking myself,” Furyk said. “I have a way of climbing into situations that are all my fault.”

    Furyk sets his alarm on his cell phone, and he awoke at 7:23 a.m. to find out that his phone had lost power. He threw on some clothes and shoes, bolted out of his hotel room and rushed to Ridgewood, arriving at 7:35 a.m.

    The pro-am was a shotgun start that began at 7:30 a.m. Furyk was to start on the 11th hole, and he realized when he arrived that he had no chance of getting there on time.

    Furyk was in such a rush that he did not put on a belt or socks, and he still had not tied his shoes.

    The PGA Tour adopted its policy on pro-ams in 2004 after some players began skipping the Wednesday events for suspect reasons. Now, players automatically are disqualified from the tournament if they miss the pro-am except for injury or family emergency.
    Click on link to read story in its entirety.

    Furyk takes stupidity to an entirely new level of incompetence and ineptitude !

    tophatal … 🙂

  17. C’mon, Al. Cutler’s far superior to those guys.

    Quinn 3-9 as a starter, 10 TDs, 9 Ints, 1902 career passing yards.

    Leinart 7-10 as a starter, 14 TDs, 20 Ints, 3893 career passing yards

    Cutler, 24-29 as a starter, 81 TDS, 63 Ints, 12690 career passing yards.

    Say what you will about Cutler but those other two can’t even crack the starting lineup.

    And egos? There’s no bigger ego at QB in the league than your boy, Tom Brady. Sure, he’s got the hardware to show for it but you don’t see Cutler running from any paparazzi or posing for Details.

  18. What’s that, Al, three straight weeks where the PGA has penalized his own?

    I guess I understand the suspensions in all three cases but it’s getting a little ridiculous, don’t you think?

  19. Chris

    But Brady has Giselle what’s Cutler got ? End of debate ……. ‘nough said ! He can’t touch Brady but my problem with TB get rid of the “Bieber” cut as he comes looking somewhat androgynous .


    tophatal …. 🙂

  20. Chris

    Is Romano of the St Pete Times that much of an idiot ? Considering what’s come out concerning the Pirates, Marlins and Rays how the hell does he think that will benefit the organization getting a new ballpark ?

    This may well be his opinion but it’s not a sound one. In fact it’s idiotic !

    Courtesy of the St Pete Times by John Romano .

    Leaked financial documents may aid Tampa Bay Rays’ cause in stadium debate

    ST. PETERSBURG — The commissioner has got to be furious.

    The guy in charge of the Florida Marlins has got to be embarrassed. The folks in the banks and insurance companies that do business with Major League Baseball and are suspected of leaking information have got to be nervous.

    And Rays owner Stuart Sternberg?

    Oh, he’s got to be tickled.

    This unprecedented disclosure of sensitive financial documents of five Major League Baseball teams this week may have infuriated a lot of baseball officials, but it could turn out to be a boon for the Rays’ stadium arguments.

    For, once you get beyond the concept of the Rays turning a profit a couple of years ago, these statements actually paint a portrait of a ballclub in need of serious financial assistance. Among the items that jump out at you from those 2007-08 financial statements:

    • The Rays got more than $39 million in ’07 and more than $35 million in ’08 from revenue sharing, i.e. baseball’s welfare system. That’s a ton of money in the team’s pockets, but it’s also an indication that revenues in Tampa Bay are among the lowest in baseball.

    • For the two years listed, the Rays got an average of about $13 million in local TV and radio fees. That was the lowest of the five teams disclosed and, presumably, the lowest in baseball. The Mariners averaged $62 million. Even the woebegone Pirates averaged $39.5 million.

    • The Rays had a net operating profit of $11 million in ’07 and $4 million in ’08. So how does that help Tampa Bay’s cause? Because the payroll was a fraction of what it is today, lending credence to the team’s claim that higher payrolls mean big losses.

    Of course, the question at this point is whether we should trust this data that was leaked to Deadspin.com.

    And I’d say not completely

    Click on link to read article in full.

    The guy is an imbecile and has no idea what the hell he’s talking about !


    Alan aka tophatal ……. 🙂

  21. Say what you will about Young, Al, but at least he’s proven himself in the league, sort of.

    He’s somewhat of an anomaly but still, despite his problems, all he does is win.

    Plus he has that national championship under his belt.

  22. Re: the new stadium, Al, a lot of that is still jockeying, I would imagine.

    You know I also think the Rays’ll end up staying and getting a new stadium.

    It just won’t happen until the economy turns around. With the state of the current local economy, there’s no way they can get us to pay for it.

    But there’s gotta be some private money out there somewhere.

  23. Chris

    Leinart won a national championship sort of as we now now . But the guy has no heart ! The likes of Quinn and Cutler did about as much in their college careers as Paris Hilton is alleged to have done in her lifetime which thus far amounts to nothing !

    In terms of the Rays …..Vegas is calling baby ! Neither the state , Hillsborough or Pinellas County has the money to fund a ballpark and in all honesty do you actually believe that public funds ought to be used to fund a stadium in this economic environment ? People will say it’ll create jobs but look at what else is needed within the community ? Come on now ! The economy turns around ? When pray do tell do you see that happening ? Two years , five years or more ? Hell the GAO much less the CBO , US Treasury and Federal Reserve can’t tell you that so what makes you think that a bunch of local politicians can much less and oaf like Bud Selig could do that ?

    We might as well pi_s in the ocean to see what ripples are created before that actually happens ! The economy turning around that is . The administration and both legislative houses of Congress have about as much insight on the problem as a blind man in the midst of a minefield . Need I say anymore on the matter ?


    tophatal ……. 🙂

  24. Chris

    Bieber is way too young to be talkin’ about gettin’ tail but I guess he wants to take after his mentor Usher ?

    Private funds to pay for the stadium ? Not unless Sternberg can tap up Bill Gates , Warren Buffett or Carlos Selim Helu for $500 million ? You’re kidding right ? The banks aren’t going to fund it so where do you think that the money ought to come from ? Like I said no one within the Rays’ front office has showed good faith in even saying we’ll put up some of the money to facilitate the start of the financing . So why the hell should the public be on the hook for it ? Idiots like JT on his late night sports talk show comes off looking like the proverbial ass when he says that stadiums should be built at whatever the cost . So much for his damn insight and his so called stockbroking background. He couldn’t pick a stock much less if it came up and bit him on the ass as a clue !


    tophatal … 🙂

  25. Chris

    We’ve got too many idiots within the Bay area who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about when it comes to running a successful sports franchise. Simply at the fiasco surrounding each of the professional teams there ? Much of this has been happening prior to the economic turndown .

    tophatal …………. 🙂

  26. Chris

    The Tampa Bay County Sports Authority a pseudo governmental agency overseen by Hillsborough County is running at a loss and is owed money by the Bucs that they’ve yet to collect. So what does that indicate to you ? Hell gimme a break and you think the ballclub is deserving of a stadium that in all aspects the revenues in large part will go to the team and the agency will just get a cut as to the operations ? If the Rays want the stadium then let Sternberg and his posse go out and seek the financing for the project elsewhere with an assist from Selig and his bunch of oafs . I’m sick and tired of his a_s telling the public that if we want to stage an All Star Game a new stadium is needed ! This coming from a guy who’s been paid in excess of $50 million over the past four years as commissioner. Why isn’t anyone aggrieved by that bullsh_t ? What’s he brought to the game apart from his asnine steroid policy and the wildcard playoff system ? Name one real positive thing please ?


    tophatal …….. 🙂

  27. Sure, Al, Leinart won a title but that team was way more about Reggie Bush that it was Leinart. And Cutler was decent at Vandy. Under him, the ‘Dores came as close as they ever have in the modern era to winning in the Swamp. But as we both know, the NFL is a completely different game.

    I still don’t see the Rays moving to Vegas, man. That’d be a long way away and I think the Bay area would review and exhaust all options before that happened.

  28. Bieber may be young, Al, but what other fifteen year old kid could host a photo shoot with Kim Kardashian at the beach? Lopez had some fun with that.

    And don’t forget, Al, on top of building the new stadium, they still have to buy out the remainder of their contract with the City of St. Pete.

    That won’t come cheap.

  29. Don’t be surprised if that money owed gets written off, Al, or at least gets paid for pennies on the dollar. After all, we can’t be funding the waste that has become Manchester United, can we?

    And how is it that an All-Star Game would boost the local economy? I just saw Bud Selig at a strip club.

    If you really want some fun, go check out next year’s NBA All-Star Game, which will be held right up I-4.

  30. I have same experience about the rule. But my experience is not about sports, or PGA or Dustin Johnson. I’ve just instructed to pay the phone bill and sponsored short messages in my phone cell that I have not registered to that. Because of that, I have to ignore my dream to buy Sport GPS Watch. Why people like getting money that is not their rights?

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