A few weeks ago during the week of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, Biblical Recorder sports correspondent Roman Gabriel III sat down with former NFL tight end Ben Utecht. Utecht helped the Indianapolis Colts, under then head coach Tony Dungy, win Super Bowl XLI. Utecht stepped away from the NFL in 2009 after suffering a concussion while playing with the Cincinnati Bengals. In his conversation with Utecht, Gabriel talks with him about his success in the NFL, living for Christ, Tim Tebow, and a prospering music career.
Q: I have such a respect and fond memories of the 2006 Colts Super Bowl XLI team. They were so strong as a family and were such a mature spiritual group of men. What was so special to you about that team?
A: Most people do not know [the Colts] Super Bowl championship ring is the only ring in NFL history to have any kind of faith symbolism.
We have the word “Faith” on the side of our 2006 Super Bowl ring. You see the picture of us all praying together after the game.
Former NFL tight end Ben Utecht
That’s how we started the year, that’s how we finished the year.
Q: I was right next to you when every person in that locker room kneeled and prayed. Incredible moment, wasn’t it?
A: The thing I love about coach Dungy is his consistency. This team was all about prayer. It was something we did as a family and as a team, every single Sunday. It just made sense to us to put our hands up to the media [and] say, “We’re going to put a hold on this, and giving glory to God.” This was what was special about that moment and winning that Super Bowl game.
Q: Obviously you were forced to retire from the NFL because of concussion problems after the 2009 season. How grateful are you to have been blessed with a successful music career that resulted from that career-ending football injury?
A: My music is a part of my heart, and my heart is what my faith is all about. I really felt like the Lord was leading me into the mainstream music area. … I want to lead by example. It was one of the greatest things I learned from Tony Dungy … the importance of living out your faith. It’s more than just words. It’s more than going to church on Sunday. It’s being Christ with skin on, and that’s our goal as Christians.
Q: You are a Christian athlete who was serious about your platform for the Lord. What are your impressions about the impact Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is having now as a young NFL player?
A: God lays his hands on people, and Tim is one of those people. He’s an anointed man in my opinion. You listen to his testimony you see where he’s gone and where he’s going. Everywhere he goes the Lord has brought him success. I really relate it to a number of different stories from characters from the scriptures. I believe there is something special about this kid. What I want people to hear from me is that he has never changed who he is, who he was in college, or who he is in the NFL.
The media wants to portray that he has stepped out and is proclaiming this more than he ever has. The truth is Tim Tebow has proclaimed it consistently ever since he gave his life to the Lord. I give that guy so much credit for his courage and strength in what he is doing.
Editor's Note: Roman’s Sold Out Sports Talk Radio program on American Family Radio can be heard in 200 cities nationally or streaming live at afr.net. It’s all about faith, family and sports. Visit his website: soldouttv.com; Facebook page: Roman Gabriel III Fan Page; connect with him on Twitter: romangabriel3rd; email him: [email protected] or call (910) 431-6483.