Deaf Seahawks fullback inspires others with Super Bowl run

Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:23pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman has triumphed already, regardless of the outcome of Sunday's Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos.

Coleman, the third deaf player to compete in the National Football League, has beaten the odds and his story has inspired the hearing impaired and others battling adversity around the globe.

An ad he did for the Duracell batteries that power his hearing aids went viral on YouTube with more than 13 million views and led to his becoming a champion to the hearing impaired, especially among the young.

"They told me it couldn't be done, but I've been deaf since I was three, so I didn't listen," Coleman says in the ad.

Coleman, a backup fullback who also plays on special teams, has drawn crowds of reporters during media sessions ahead of the NFL title game.

"We wanted to inspire others. We wanted to let them know that whatever accomplishments you want to achieve, regardless of whatever obstacles you have to overcome, you can always endure," he said about the ads.

"Just trust the power within and do what you want to do. That's basically what I'm doing."

Coleman, who rates his ability to hear without his hearing aids as two on a scale to 10, always enjoyed playing sports as a boy and did not take up football until he was 13.   Continued...