Thursday, January 30, 2014

Deaf Seattle fullback inspires at Super Bowl

NEW YORK -- Listen up.

This is a Super Bowl story worth hearing.

They called Derrick Coleman "four ears" on the playground sometimes when he was growing up because of the hearing aids jutting out of his ears.

When he first started playing football as a kid, the feedback in those hearing aids was so intense that it hurt. His mom solved that problem by cutting up a pair of pantyhose and wrapping it around her son's head under his helmet.

On Sunday, Coleman (pictured above in a shot I took this week during a group interview) will suit up for Seattle. He is a backup fullback who is believed to be the first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL. His journey to this game has inspired many. A Duracell ad on YouTube that chronicled his story has been viewed more than 13 million times. If you haven't seen it yet, you should watch it here.

"Everybody has problems," Coleman said this week. "Nobody is perfect. I wear a hearing aid. Some people have glasses. Some people have depression. Everybody has something. But as long as you don't let that get in the way of what you want to do, you can do anything."

I will be writing a lot more about Coleman in my column coming in Friday's newspaper and online.

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