When Seahawks receiver Ben Obomanu was a child he was a sponge for learning new skills and talents. Now in his fifth season in the NFL he still follows advice given by his mother 20 years ago in Selma, Alabama.
“My mother was a single parent,” Ben told me as we talked in front of his locker at Seahawks headquarters this week. “She gave us the opportunity to learn whatever we wanted to learn and her advice was, ‘never be satisfied.’
“I took piano lessons, violin lessons, played the drums in the chorus at church, played baseball, basketball, football and swimming lessons. I also took jazz and tap and even did gymnastics.”
With all of those activities the advice was the same, “never be satisfied.”
After an outstanding career at Auburn, Obomanu was chosen by the Seahawks in the seventh-round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played in 12 games in 2007, sat out the 2008 season with a broken clavicle then bounced back in 2009, playing in 14 games mostly on special teams.
During training camp in 2010, Obomanu joined a bevy of receivers under new coach Pete Carroll, came through stiff competition and made the 53 man roster. So far this season Ben has three catches for 36 yards and one touchdown. He also sees a lot of action on special teams.
Through all of this Ben never forgets his mom’s advice. He can’t, she reminds him every time he goes home to Alabama.
“She still talks about it today even though I’m an NFL player and people think you’ve made it, you’ve arrived,” said Obomanu. “When I go home she always tells me, ‘now don’t be satisfied just the way you are.’”
Ben points out that it doesn’t mean one shouldn’t celebrate or appreciate their success it just means don’t get complacent or as he puts it, “always have that drive because once you lose that drive, things start going downhill.”
Great advice from Ben Obomanu and his mom.