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Derrick Coleman: “Trust Your Power”

By Chris Fischer, staff writer

The date is set, the location is set, and finally, the two teams that will square off in the Super Bowl have been determined: the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks and the AFC Champion Denver Broncos. Each one of these players has a unique story about how they got to the NFL, and ultimately, to the pinnacle game in all of football – the Super Bowl. They all have committed themselves to a season of dedication and hard work, but perhaps none of these players has worked as hard as Derrick Coleman, a fullback for the Seattle Seahawks who has been deaf since he was 3.

As a result of his hard work, Coleman, a deaf player whose story is portrayed in a moving Duracell Batteries commercial, is headed to the Super Bowl. From being ridiculed and bullied as a kid to blossoming into a star running back at UCLA, Coleman’s path to the Super Bowl was far from easy. Despite his prolific career at UCLA, Coleman went undrafted in the NFL Draft - as depicted in the commercial. He responded by turning his deafness into his strength and motivation as shown in the ad when Coleman says, “They told me it couldn’t be done… But I’ve been deaf since I was 3, so I didn’t listen.”

He earned a chance on the practice squad with the Seattle Seahawks. He performed well enough to earn a spot on the team roster and, since then, has obviously succeeded in proving the naysayers wrong.

Though he hasn’t received much playing time this season, he recorded one receiving touchdown when he caught a ball that ricocheted off his teammate and dove into the endzone for the score. He also rushed twice this season for a total of three yards. Coleman also was in on some special teams plays in the NFC Championship, which is an opportunity that players on teams that missed the playoffs would love to have had this season.

The lack of playing time doesn’t matter.

What matters is that No. 40 trusted in his power and rose above adversity. He ignored those who didn’t believe in him and told him he couldn’t make it in football. As a result, Derrick Coleman is where he is - preparing to compete on the biggest stage in sports because deafness didn’t stop him from reaching for his dreams.

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