RENTON, Wash. − When Derrick Coleman lines up in the tunnel before Sunday’s NFC title game, he won’t hear the explosive rumble of the crowd at CenturyLink Field or be overcome by the din of the loudest stadium in the NFL.
But he will feel the stadium. He always feels the stadium….
Meet the Seattle Seahawks fullback who has triumphed over his hearing impairment. On Sunday, in the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco, Coleman, 23, will play in his 13th game with the Seahawks this season.
Coleman has been deaf since age 3, capable of recognizing only the deepest bass sounds without hearing aids….
Until last week, when Duracell ran an inspiring commercial that highlighted Coleman’s disability, few people knew this. The second-year player had quietly supplanted Michael Robinson as starting fullback, and coach Pete Carroll says the team made no special accommodations for him
Yet here Coleman is, on the verge of the Super Bowl.
“Any opportunity I get, I always cherish it,” said the 6-foot, 233 -pound Coleman. “You only get so many opportunities in a lifetime. This is one of them that I definitely don’t want to squander, I definitely don’t want to pass up.”
For Coleman, it’s all about the chance to impact others like him. That’s why he agreed to do the commercial, which chronicles his childhood challenges, Coleman said, even if it is “Hollywood-style.”
You want some leadership close-up? Here is the Duracell commercial starring Derrick:
He’s the first deaf offensive player to ever play in the NFL. How’s that for leadership close-up? Win or lose today, Derrick is a champion.
To say that Coleman never gave up sounds like a sporting cliche. But this Duracell ad gives a small glimpse into what he did and who he is.
The ad doesn’t have to explain the role a battery might play in his life. Instead, it presents his life and shows what he has to do to be heard.
Fear the cheer!
#GoHawks #Seahawks #12thMan
8:09 PM Update:
Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown on fourth down and the Seahawks’ defense forced three fourth-quarter turnovers to beat the 49ers 23-17 and earn a trip to the Super Bowl.
Related 1/30/14 Story: Partially deaf twins get a huge surprise from Derrick Coleman