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July 05, 2013

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David Daniel

Funnny story from my youth....

I grew up in NE Alabama in a town down the road from the Alabama School for the Deaf. As with all of the other similar sized schools, they showed up on our football schedule once a year.

I vividly remember the game... the deaf cheerleaders were on the sidelines, doing their thing to the beat of a huge bass drum. It provided the rhythm and they did the rest... just like other cheerleaders, except that they signed out their cheers...

The game itself was always a tight one... as I was on the field, I noticed that they rarely huddled... most of them never even looked over at the sidelines... just lined up and ran plays... somehow, it seemed that they just "knew" which play was to be run... the players occasionally signed something to each other, but not on every play...

For our part, we could barely hear our own team mates as the noise from the crowd and the pounding bass drum made it almost impossible to speak except by literally screaming at each other....

In the end, the Deaf School kicked our butts... they were truly a cohesive unit that moved without any external control... they just "knew" what to do... and it beat our screaming and motioning hands down.

The "punch line" at the end? Their coach finally broke down and told our coach how he had his team run no-huddle all night...

Those cheerleaders...well, they were a little more than simply getting the crowd hyped up... they would change their "cheers" on a sign from the coach... the football team, on the field... could FEEL the change in beats in their chests... and knew which play was coming up... each cheer had a specific cadence... pounded on the drum...

In retrospect, it was simply AMAZING...

We thought they had a disadvantage becuase they were deaf... the scoreboard... showed otherwise....

Dan Beauchamp

Now that's a great story! We often communicated with our students when they were turned away from us by stamping on the floor!

I'm amazed that I never even thought of going to the football games.

Thanks for reading, Dave.

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