Ben is a former tight end for the Indianapolis Colts.
Rare is the man who exemplifies faith, strength and heart-felt authenticity. Growing up, Ben not only had a natural talent for sports – leading the Hastings High School Raiders to three state appearances and being a four-year starter for the University of Minnesota – he was also blessed with a commanding voice.
As a professional athlete, Ben signed with the Indianapolis Colts in April 2004, going on to help the Colts win Super Bowl XLI in 2006. In 2008, Ben became a restricted free agent and signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Yet, like many athletes, tragedy struck. Prior to the 2009 season, Ben suffered a concussion during practice, ending his football career but freeing him to pursue another childhood dream: song.
While it’s uncommon for a professional athlete to cross over into the music world, the truth is, football and singing are not so different.
In an Interview with Erik Brady of USA Today, Ben said, “Just think about – in the NFL, you’re on a playing field; with singing, you’ve got a stage. In the NFL, you’ve got fans; onstage, you’ve got an audience. In the NFL, you’ve got a playbook; with singing, you’ve got sheet music. It takes preparation to be an athlete and preparation to be a performer.”
Then, there’s the butterflies he gets before taking the stage, similar to the anxiety before a big game.
“I get the funniest looks from people when I can’t help but go through my pregame motions before I go out on stage. Jumping up and down and kicking my legs in the air … I feel like I’m going out on stage to compete.”
Ben is married to his college sweetheart, Karyn, a former Miss Minnesota. They have three daughters: Elleora, Katriel and Amy.
Ben will be the featured Holiday Pops guest artist with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, Dec. 7 with two performances: 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Abilene Civic Center. Tickets are $10 to $35 and are available for purchase by phone at
325-677-6710; in person at 401 Cypress St., Suite 520; or on the Philharmonic’s website, www.abilenephilharmonic.org.