Ex-NFL star reveals why he wore a wedding ring before he got married: 'That protected me'

Posted September 15

Super Bowl-winning tight end Ben Utecht recently revealed that he wore a wedding ring before marrying his fiance to protect himself from sexual temptation. (Deseret Photo)

Super Bowl-winning tight end Ben Utecht recently revealed he wore a wedding ring while engaged to his fiance to protect against sexual temptations.

Before getting married in 2006, Utecht, who is now retired from the NFL, was living in Indianapolis, where he played for the Colts. At the time, his fiance, Karyn, was still in Minnesota.

So, he decided to wear the ring to avoid the sexual temptations and pressures that often go with sports fame, according to The Christian Post.

"I wore a wedding band throughout that entire time and I wanted to do my best to make sure that my intentions were always front and center," Utecht told the outlet. "I think that was very important and that protected me."

He said that he wanted to have a symbol that, like Karyn's engagement ring, let people know that he was also spoken for.

"After talking with her about it, I just said, 'You know what, I know it's not typical, but I would like to have something like that as well so that it just kind of lets anybody else know that this guy is taken,'" Utecht told The Christian Post. "I thought it was something that gave me a lot of peace and gave her peace as well."

In addition to wearing the ring, Utecht said he also was very careful about the environments that he put himself in, proceeding to offer up advice for any Christian athletes who might find themselves facing similar sexual temptations.

Utecht encouraged those athletes to turn to their Bibles for guidance — and to do so regularly, calling the scriptures "God's playbook for our lives." Spending time reading the Bible, he said, is key.

"That may have an effect on your heart and gives you the wisdom and the opportunity to make good choices, according to your faith," he said.

Utecht recently released a new book titled, "Counting the Days While My Mind Slips Away: A Love Letter to My Family" — a love letter to his wife and daughters. It's a book that offers the former NFL star's message to his family amid the after effects of five concussions — injuries that have led to memory loss.

"After at least five major concussions—and an untold number of micro-concussions— Ben suffered multiple mild traumatic brain injuries that have erased important memories," reads a book description.

Utecht penned the book amid fears that he will one day fully lose his memory, hoping to make sure his family knows how much he loves them. The book records his heartfelt thoughts and feelings, while taking readers through his very personal journey.

After retiring from the NFL in 2009 amid health concerns, Utecht became a public speaker and singer-songwriter. He is now a national spokesperson for the American Academy of Neurology and the American Brain Foundation.

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