April 14, 2008, - 11:46 pm
So That’s Why His Pro Football Career Tanked: Herschel Walker Claims He’s the New “Sybil,” Even Has “White” Personality
By Debbie Schlussel
I used to think the reason Herschel Walker’s NFL career didn’t work out was the Heisman curse.
In my view, if you win the Heisman (as Walker did), the odds are your pro football career will be a relative bust. Remember Heisman winner Charlie Ward from Florida State University? His NFL career worked out real well . . . on the hardwood of the NBA. Not shabby, but not football either. Ron Dayne (whom I once tutored when I was a grad student at the University of Wisconsin) was a great running back in college, but in the NFL, he’s not as big a star and has been a relative disappointment (though he’s fared better than other recent Heismen).
He was possibly the greatest colleged football running back ever. But, now, ten years after a failed NFL career, Walker is telling us that it’s not the Schlussel Heisman Curse Theory in action. Instead, it’s that he has multiple split personalities. And we’re not talking his previous split personality as both an NFL and USFL player (which probably contributed greatly to his failure on the pro grid-iron, just as Doug Flutie’s tri-partite career in the USFL, CFL, and NFL did him in).
Nope. Walker is claiming that he has many personalities, including a White guy. His bizarre therapist, Jerry Mungadze (who is Black), claims he can tell the personality is White because of the way he brushes his fingers through his hair, “which only White people do,” he told ABC News’ “Nightline,” tonight.
Sorry, but I’m not buying it. And neither are Walker’s former teammates and coaches, none of whom ever saw the White dude or any of Walker’s other alleged personalities manifest themselves. It’s a convenient excuse, though: I didn’t catch that touchdown because that wasn’t me. It was that unathletic White guy personality, Al the Cracker. Or: I dropped the ball because that was my stripper personality, Amber, who was looking for a pole, not pigskin.
So, why–after he’s disappeared into American obscurity and is only a multiple choice answer to a question in Trivial Pursuit, Sports Disappointment Edition–is Herschel Walker coming out with the Sybill theory?
Well, it might have something to do with that book–out today–that he’s pushing. We’re in the post-Paris (Hilton) era. People–especially people like Herschel Walker who see in it a second chance at faded stardom–want attention. And bizarre sells. Terry Bradshaw crying and talking about depression? Ho hum. But multiple personalities? Now we’re talking. It’s hip to be afflicted. And what could be more bizarre than a failed sports star who claims he is many people including a White guy? Well, it doesn’t beat the pregnant man story, but it’s close enough. Plus, it satisfies the PC “White Men Can’t Jump” allegation. A-ha: Herschel Walker stank because he was part White–at least, mentally, he claims.
Even the Farrelly Brothers couldn’t dream up this absurd script. And if they did, we’d say it wasn’t believable in the least.
And it isn’t in real life, either. The only one who seems to believe it–or at least participate in the hoax–is Walker’s ex-wife, Cindy Grossman, (does she get larger child support and/or alimony payments if the book does well?) and his “therapist” who sees a bizarre White guy personality behind every visage. Watching Herschel Walker in the ABC interviews, I have to say he’s as good an actor as he was a pro NFL player. No Oscars coming anytime soon.
Dr. Mark Levy, a distinguished life fellow at the American Psychiatric Association and assistant clinical professor psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco, says the whole multiple personality diagnosis–now called by the PC-term, “Dissociative Identity Disorder”–is bunk:
“It probably isn’t real,” Levy said. “Dissociation is real. It occurs after trauma in some people and in psychosis, like schizophrenia. However, I’ve never seen a so-called multiple personality in 35 years of practice.”
It seems the only multiple personalities in Herschel Walker are the split between the fantastic athlete who won the Heisman in college and the one who–while still head and shoulders above the common man in athletic prowess–couldn’t get it done once he hit the pros.
But “Sybil“–and an alleged White personality who brushes his fingers through his hair–has nothing to do with the lack of touchdowns and rushing yards.
That’s the whole nine yards. And that’s about as far as this farce will go. For this weird fib, the endzone is nowhere in sight.
This past week, Walker was scheduled to run with the Olympic torch. Question is: Which personality was running with it? Hopefully, not the Tibetan Monk, the slave laborer, or the Darfur victim.
If it was the “White guy,” I hope he didn’t burn his hair.
Tags: ABC, actor, American Psychiatric Association, assistant, bizarre therapist, California, Charlie Ward, Cindy Grossman, Darfur, Debbie Schlussel, depression, Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Doug Flutie, failed sports, fantastic athlete, Florida State University, football, Heisman Disorder, Herschel Walker, Herschel Walker Claims He, Jerry Mungadze, Mark Levy, multiple personalities, multiple personality, National Basketball Association, National Football League, NBA, NFL, Nightline, Oscars, Paris, player, Professor, Ron Dayne, running back, San Francisco, schizophrenia, still head, Sybil, Terry Bradshaw, the Olympic, therapist, University of California at San Francisco, University of Wisconsin, USFL player, White Men Can't Jump, Wisconsin