When you hear a story about a football team composed of deaf players, you immediately think of some Frank Capra/Steven Spielberg schmaltzy garbage. But the California School for the Deaf football team is very real. And they are very good.
The CSD football team, which is made up of 19 players (all deaf), plus head coach Warren Keller (also deaf), has put together a system that actually uses their deafness to their advantage, using sign language and color-coded sideline boards to orchestrate a fast-paced offense that their opponents find impossible to keep up with.
CSD went 10-1 this season, with all but two of those victories against public schools. They scored 329 points in those 11 games, a clip of 30 points per game. They were also league champions and finalists for a special citation in Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year” awards.
Sports Illustrated actually recently did a video profile on this special group of young men (for the record, I don’t mean “special” in a condescending way). Definitely worth watching if you feel like being inspired/moved/crying: