Ben Roethlisberger mistreats women because he has "deep-seated" issues relating to his childhood separation from his mother-figure. "I think Ben needs help," writes Mike Klis of The Denver Post, who when he's not diagnosing psychosocial pathologies usually writes about the Broncos.
This is a truly bizarre column. For starters, I love that it's filed under "Broncos Premium," and I can only imagine the reaction of a guy in his Elway jersey, poking around for some expert speculation on how the Broncs might use their fifth-round pick, only to find a bad Freud impersonation staring him in the face. Seriously, it's like dime-store Freud, crossed with I'm OK, You're OK, crossed with the last 10 minutes of Psycho.
Ben Roethlisberger was 8 years old, shooting baskets in his driveway, waiting for his mom to pick him up for the weekend when he received word.
Mom wasn't going to make it.
While driving in to pick up her son, as she did every other weekend since her divorce from Ken six years earlier, Ida was involved in an accident with a pickup truck. She later died from the injuries.
I wonder if Roethlisberger, 28, doesn't have a deep-seated problem that has been metastasizing since he was a child waiting in his driveway for mom.
If his problem really is deep-seated, it's going to take a lot more than a Broncos beat writer with a Nexis account to suss it out. Perhaps there's a psychologist sitting near a phone somewhere who'd be willing to do a little long-distance headshrinking:
"One of the things we know about him is he's a risk-taker," said Jessica Lippman, a Chicago-based psychologist. "He absolutely plays on the edge. He rides a motorcycle without a helmet, and he almost destroys his career."
Interesting. Go on.
"He's always been a star athlete; he's always been treated special," Lippman said. "But underneath all that you have a life [sic?] motif which is: 'Look what happened to me. My mom died.'
"I don't know him, but does he feel responsible in some way because his mother was on the way to pick him up? Does he feel like he deserves bad things to happen to him? So he places himself in the position of taking risks.
"This is where the magic thinking comes in: 'If I take the risk, and I come out of it OK, I'm not bad. But if I take the risk and something dastardly happens to me, do I deserve this?' "
Magic thinking, indeed. Now, if I were a credentialed expert like Jessica Lippman on the pathways of the mind, I'd take this opportunity to speculate on the various developmental traumas that must've caused her to talk so completely out of her ass. But alas I am not. Here's Klis again:
Don't get me wrong, I do feel Roethlisberger should be punished. His accusers have parents too. It's just that Roethlisberger's problems — is it too strong to call it an illness? — are not the result of an unloved upbringing. He was raised with old-fashioned, middle-America values.
Not the pro-rape values of the coastal regions, and certainly not the cock-dangling values of the American Southwest.
Which is why his conduct is so shocking, until you consider all the love, discipline and kindness isn't going bring back his mom.
His parents divorced when he was 2. Was he the reason? His mom died when he was 8. On her way to pick him up. I think Ben needs help.
And I think this is a loony bit of mock psychology and one of the weirder pieces of sportswriting I've ever come across, a sad, backward, undermothered stepchild to all those long Sports Illustrated stories about all those sports figures with all those neglected emotional wounds. How does that make you feel, Mike?
Klis: Roethlisberger's problem may have deep roots [Denver Post]