ONE of the most inspiring stories to come out of this year's Super Bowl has already been told.
Regardless of the result between Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Seattle full-back Derrick Coleman will emerge triumphant.
Coleman is the third deaf player to compete in the National Football League and he became an overnight champion for the hearing impaired when an advertisement he made for the Duracell batteries that power his hearing aids went viral on YouTube with more than 13 million views.
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"They told me it couldn't be done, but I've been deaf since I was three, so I didn't listen," says Coleman , a back-up fullback who has been attracting 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 advert. "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 of one to 10, always enjoyed playing sports as a boy and did not take up football until he was 13.
"It was the last sport that I played. When I was younger I used to play basketball, tried soccer, tried baseball, even tried tennis. I was always a sports junkie," he said.
His parents encouraged him. " 'Just go out there and be you,' my mom would say. 'Don't worry about anybody else. If people start making fun of you, just walk away or tell me. You only want to surround yourself with people that want to see you succeed.' "
Coleman went to college at UCLA and rushed for 1700 yards and 19 touchdowns but went undrafted in 2012. The Vikings signed Coleman as a free agent, but he was waived in training camp. The Seahawks signed him in December 2012, making him the NFL's first legally deaf offensive player.
Coleman is able to communicate verbally with the help of hearing aids and lip reading and said he has had no trouble.
"The hardest thin g about being in the deaf community is getting over wall one," he said.