Former Super Bowl winner Ben Utecht is channeling Andy Williams.
The former Gopher who won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning’s 2006 Colts is near the end of 21 concerts singing the Christmas songs recorded by Mr. Moon River.
“Mick Sterling and I are doing our Andy and Bing Christmas,” said Utecht, a singer/songwriter who wrote “You Will Always Be My Girls,” a love letter to his family in which he expresses his fears about concussion-related memory loss.
“The Best of Andy Williams and Bing Crosby Christmas albums, a 20-piece orchestra; we basically took two of the all-time greatest Christmas albums and replicated them. We do almost 30 songs. It’s just an incredible show.”
Upcoming shows include Thursday’s 30 Days Foundation fundraiser at the James J. Hill Library and a Dec. 26-31 stand at the Chanhassen Fireside Theatre.
In a head fake, the retired tight end even brought up the time he dressed like Superman — tights, cape and boots — for a dance competition (tinyurl.com/y85g9ojm).
Q: What’s your favorite Christmas song?
A: “Oh, Holy Night.” It’s just that memorable big ballad that Andy Williams does, I get to step into those shoes for four minutes.
Q: Did you ever get to see Andy Williams perform?
A: No. This experience has been an introduction.
Q: Let me back up and ask, when did you first learn about Andy Williams?
A: Obviously, “Moon River.” He was the singer of some of the greatest, like “The Godfather.” You watch the “Godfather” and you hear that theme song and you know it but you don’t know that it’s Andy Williams. Doing all this research I learned quickly how much of an icon this man was. He sold 100 million units, just below Frank Sinatra.
Q: Didn’t he bring us the Osmonds and, more importantly, Donny Osmond?
A: I think, yes, you’re right.
Q: Are the Vikings going to the Super Bowl in February?
A: It’s about reaching your peak at the right time. They’ve been playing so well. My hope is they can find a way to improve and drill and not get comfortable. Gosh, it’s hard not to see them having a really good opportunity to make this one of the most special Super Bowls of all time.
Q: Could you believe there was ever a QB controversy after Sam Bradford went down and Case Keenum acquitted himself so beautifully? Was Coach Zim just having some fun with us?
A: From a player’s perspective it’s a little frustrating, but Mike Zimmer is a strategist and knows Case Keenum now better than we do and how he responds to certain kinds of leadership styles. I think Case has definitely earned that position.
Q: It’s going to be something if Aaron Rodgers comes back to the Packers before the Vikings game in Green Bay. [Rodgers has been cleared to play after the collarbone injury inflicted by the Vikings’ Anthony Barr.]
A: I know. I’m really pleased with the rest of their schedule. The only person who is going to be their worst enemy is themselves. Keep focused and stick to the fundamentals and techniques and great things could happen.
Q: How are your cognitive skills?
A: Thanks for remembering. Really good. I’ve had so much success over the last couple of years with LearningRx, doing that brain training. I try to do it once a weekend. I feel I’ve completely rebounded from all my concussions and I’m in a really good place.
Q: What is the strangest attire you have donned as the father of four daughters, given that The Rock wore a pink tutu for the movie “Tooth Fairy”?
A: [Long laugh] Well, probably a full Spandex Superman suit.
Q: That wasn’t for them, that was for your dancing performance?
A: You’re right. I tried to sneak that by you. I have four princesses. There is not a tomboy in the bunch. I am constantly playing dress up, constantly playing the prince. I’ve learned how to French braid, do all of it. I’m a pro.
C.J. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.