Former NFL Player Writes and Sings Song to His Daughters as Brain Injury Takes Toll
To us, they're finely-tuned machines built for destruction and championships. Success and failure depends solely on the outcome on that fateful Sunday in early February. To others, they're dad, husband, brother and son.
Former NFL tight end Ben Utecht climbed to the top of that mountain, winning his championship ring with Peyton Manning in 2006. Over a career that saw five diagnosed concussions Utecht played along, literally and figuratively, with "the game". That game goes beyond the 60 minutes played on Sundays and into the training rooms throughout the following week.
We see a player on the field and our mind immediately goes to questions about how this injury affects the team's chance to win and how long you've got for a bathroom break before the game starts again. We also glorify the hit that took him to the ground in the first place. What we typically don't think about, unless they show a camera shot of a horrified family member in the stands, is how this affects those that love him OFF the football field.
Utecht has turned to one of the most powerful methods of getting your message out, music, to ease his post-football world. Three daughters too young to remember dad before the brain injuries affected his mood and memory were the catalyst for this song and music video that will stir your emotions, provided you're human.
I don't have daughters, but the message is the same. Anyone that's ever lost a father, mother, daughter or son won't make it through the first chorus without tears. Everyone else will have their moment in the song when it hits home.
Utecht has recently been named a spokesperson for the American Academy of Neurology and the American Brain Foundation. Don't take that next bathroom break. Take a second-look at the faces in the crowd that see that finely-tuned machine as something more than an "X" or an "O" on a football field.