ECPA's Rush To Press


Story of Utecht’s Personal Journey Acquired
by Simon & Schuster’s Howard Book

NEW YORK (Aug. 12, 2015) – The North American publishing rights to Counting the Days Until My Mind Slips Away: A Love Letter to My Family by Ben Utecht, former NFL tight end and Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl XLI champion, have been acquired by the Howard Books Division of Simon & Schuster for a substantial six-figure advance in a deal brokered by Steve Ross, director of the book division at Abrams Artists Agency. 

After five years in the National Football League playing for the Indianapolis Colts, where he won a Super Bowl ring, and the Cincinnati Bengals, Utecht retired when a routine training drill resulted in his fifth documented concussion.  Suffering from multiple traumatic brain injuries due to repeated hits to the head, Utecht has battled severe memory loss and, as a result, has emerged as a leading advocate for brain health.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to work with Ben and bring his story to fans,” said Jonathan Merkh, Vice President and Publisher of Howard Books.  “His commitment to his family and faith make him an excellent role model and we are happy to have him as part of the Howard roster of authors.”

Terrified that his wife and four daughters would someday be living with a man who is a mere shell of his former self, Utecht first penned a letter to his family.  The letter evolved into a song (“You Will Always Be My Girls”) for which the accompanying video has been viewed by over a million people.  Now, with his book, Counting the Days Until My Mind Slips Away: A Love Letter to My Family, Utecht hopes to share the lessons he’s learned about living a life of love, faith, and meaning when you know your memory may have an expiration date

Utecht, who grew up the son of a minister who loved his faith, will write the book with Mark Tabb, who is not only a former minister but also the father of four girls, and a native of Indianapolis, who grew up a Colts fan.  Tabb has authored or co-authored nearly 30 books, including No. 1 New York Times Bestseller Mistaken Identity.  His other New York Times bestsellers include A Promise to Ourselves with Alec Baldwin, The Unusual Suspect with Stephen Baldwin, and The Sacred Acre: The Ed Thomas Story.

Despite the arduous trials of cognitive rehabilitation and memory loss, Utecht has found himself again through speaking and music.  He is an established national keynote speaker, budding author and national spokesperson for the American Brain Foundation and the American Academy of Neurology, which honored him in 2014 with its most prestigious award, the Public Leadership In Neurology Award.  Utecht is also a professional singer and uses music as a part of sharing his story.  As a national spokesperson, advocate and author for brain health, he has worked diligently to spread education and awareness regarding traumatic brain injury, and recently accepted the Ambassador Award from the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance.  

About Abrams Artists Agency:

Founded in 1977, Abrams Artists Agency represents clients across a broad spectrum of the entertainment industry, including motion pictures, television, theater, animation, radio and television commercials, hosting, broadcasting and all forms of narration, as well as a literary division that represents both writers and directors.  With principal offices in both Los Angeles and New York City, Abrams Artists Agency also boasts a highly regarded youth-entertainment division and has recently expanded into alternative and digital programming, with an impressive line-up of social-media influencers who reach a wide global audience, and has also grown to include licensing and branding divisions. 

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