A guy who used to star during football games in this building will take center stage before the game tonight at Mall of America Field, as Minnesota native and former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher standout TE Ben Utecht will sing the National Anthem.
“This is a very special night,” Utecht said. “Just walking down the tunnel brings back so many great memories of Saturday games here as a Gopher. It’s a special night and I’m excited.”
Utecht was undrafted out of college but debuted in 2005 with the Indianapolis Colts. He was actually a member of the Super Bowl champion Colts with current Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier in 2006. Utecht said he was excited when Frazier was named Head Coach of the Vikings.
“He’s obviously good friends with Tony Dungy and I am also friends with Tony,” Utecht explained. “He has a lot of the same Tony Dungy qualities when it comes to leadership and being able to relate to players and to people in general. So when the Vikings decided to give Leslie a chance, I was fired up for him.”
Utecht says he’s performed the National Anthem for every major pro and college team in Minnesota and that doing so tonight for the Vikings is a special moment for him; he has “lots” of family members with him at the game tonight.
Utecht w ill perform as the lead male vocalist on the upcoming Jim Brickman Christmas Celebration tour. Also, his debut album, “Christmas Hope,” just went on pre-order and will be available later this year.
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