It seems like it’s taken forever but the playoffs are nearly over, which means the Super Bowl is almost here. As experts in hearing, we’re always interested when work and sports crossover and this year we thought we’d share a little about that crossover. We are, of course, talking about famous football players with a hearing loss.
You might be thinking that being unable to hear fully might stop football players from playing well. But with hearing aids and a talent for lip reading, players with a hearing loss get by pretty well. In fact, some are football superstars.
Derrick Coleman is about the most famous legally deaf football player around. Coleman has had a hearing loss since a young age but he never let it hold him back. His story has spread beyond the football world, turning him into an inspiration for kids with a hearing loss. Coleman has done a lot of work with kids who have a hearing loss and always encourages them to persevere to achieve their dreams.
And there’s more
Coleman may be the most famous player with a hearing loss but he isn’t the only one. There have been a few other famous ones over the years. Bonnie Sloan didn’t last long in the football world due to an unfortunate knee injury, but he broke boundaries as the first deaf player in the NFL; he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1973.
Flozell Adams of the Dallas Cowboys has a five-time Pro Bowl selection to his name and a significant hearing loss in his right ear. Reed Doughty, former safety for the Washington Redskins, also has a hearing loss and uses hearing aids.
All of these players have made a success of playing football professionally despite their hearing loss. But they aren’t the only link between hearing loss and football. If we look further back into the history of football, there is an even more surprising link to be found.
A little-known fact
There are a few different stories about how the football huddle originated, but one of the most convincing is that it was developed by Paul Hubbard, a quarterback for a deaf college in Washington, D.C. back in the 1890s. Hubbard had his offense get into a tight circle, so they could sign their plays to each other without the other team seeing.
Enjoy the game
We don’t just want to fill you in on the fun facts of football. At Hear Lubbock, we also want to make sure that you can truly enjoy the game this year by protecting your hearing health from the dangerously loud noise levels at the Super Bowl (if you are lucky enough to go). Wear earplugs to protect yourself from noise-induced hearing loss as the cheers of the crowd surround you. If you’re watching at home with friends, try to keep the volume on the TV at a reasonable level; this will help keep the noise of your guests down too as they listen in to the commentary.
If you already have concerns about your hearing or just want to get checked out to make sure all is well before the big game, simply click here to schedule your hearing assessment in Lubbock, Big Spring, or Snyder with one of the Audiologists at Cornerstone Audiology. Because life is worth hearing.