Danny had just settled into the stall and was looking forward to snorting a line when he heard shouting and banging that got louder and louder as the source got closer. “Danny where the f**k are you?” He didn’t realize what was happening but his amygdala unleashed adrenaline, accelerated his breathing and pulse, and he became hyperalert. It’s called life threatening fear. He said he knew he had to act quickly. He flushed down the cocaine. It wasn’t a second too soon because the restroom door banged open and each stall door was banged open by a maniac screaming at the top of his voice, “Where the f**k are you?”. Acting like he was zipping up his pants, Danny stepped out of his stall and started to say, “I was just taking a…” when he was grabbed by his shirt collars and shoved roughly against the wall. All Danny could see was an angry contorted face that screamed, “Are you f**king doing blow?” Danny’s heart was racing but he knew his next actions would determine whether he would live or die. He coolly said, “Of course not, Tony. You said you would kill me if I did any blow. Do you think I’m stupid? Do you think I want to die?”, as he showed Tony ‘the Ant’ Spilotro his empty pockets. As the words sunk in, Tony relaxed his grip for a short second. He then banged Danny hard against the wall again and in a chilling tone muttered, “You f**king better not!”
That was Danny’s version of a story he told me more than once. Chip has another story that show’s a totally different demeanor.
Chip and I were playing golf at the Country Club and at the green on Hole 15, I told Chip, this is where my partner Mike Sexton almost got killed in a serious voice. “Huh?”, said Chip. I said Mike seemed to be in an argument on the other side of the green with our opponent. As Mike walked back to the cart, he was shaking his head and muttering, “He’s f**king crazy”. I asked what happened. “He’s just f**king crazy that’s all”, Mike replied. On the next tee, as we’re ready to tee off, our opponent who is normally pale is beet red and pulls up in his cart screaming, “You hear me, Mike? If I hear one more word, I’m going to go to my house, get my gun, come back and f**king shoot you! You hear me!” “You hear me?” he screams louder. “Yeah, I hear you,” Mike replied. Of course, Chip was going to have a better story:
“You know Danny used to be a great golfer, but he chokes.” He was once in a playoff to qualify for the U.S. Open in Ohio. I don’t remember the exact details but on paper Danny was the better golfer. He might have had an early lead, but something happened, and Danny fell apart. Chip said he lost by 17 holes which isn’t possible, but the point is Danny lost by a wide margin. The foundation is set.
One time we were playing in a big match at the Dunes. Danny had an easy 50-yard chip shot over a bunker. As Danny was getting ready to hit the shot, Spilotro who had a piece of their action and his bodyguard came over the hill in a golf cart. Danny saw them and chunked the shot into the bunker. As he made his way back to the cart, he is shaking like a leaf and muttering repeatedly, “He’s going to kill me, he’s going to kill me.” Oh my God, Chip was thinking. He realized if he didn’t calm him down, they both were going to be die. Spilotro did not leave any witnesses. Chip said very calmly, “Danny he’s not going to kill you. Take a deep breath and calm down. That’s it, take another deep breath. He is not going to kill you.” Chip said he managed to calm Danny down and they went on to win the match. Chip chuckled and said, “Now buddy, that’s pressure golf,” with his charismatic smile.
Wow, I thought who is ever going to top that golf story?
Writer’s Note: Danny could not hit a ball other than his driver off a tee. He never used a tee on a par 3. Psychological he said.