WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Little did the students of White Plains' New York School for the Deaf known they'd be in for the Super Bowl surprise of a lifetime.
As part of their publicity tour leading up to Super Bowl on Sunday at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the Seattle Seahawks' marching band, "Blue Thunder," sent 10 of their 33 drummers to make a pitstop at the New York School for the Deaf and put on a surprise performance.
The Seahawks have demonstrated support for the deaf community in honor of their running back Derrick Coleman, who is the first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL, and furthermore the first legally deaf man to play in the Super Bowl.
Keith Rousu, Director of Music Groups for the Seahawks, said the band has made several stops in deaf schools prior to the Super Bowl.
"It's something that is importance to us, and we really love doing it," he said.
After the kids were corralled into the auditorium, Executive Director Dr. Janet Dickinson took to the stage in a flurry of joy and enthusiasm to greet her students.
The curtains rose, and the Seahawks drummers introduced themselves with roaring beats and cymbals.
The children, many of whom are legally deaf, were able to feel the beat and vibrations of the music. Some sprung from their seats and danced along to the music.
At the end of the performance, the students were able to ask the band questions about their training and how it feels to play for the Super Bowl.
Dickinson said, "It's so important for deaf children to have role models in popular culture because too often they are told they cannot do things because they're deaf. People like Derrick give them the feeling that they can break boundaries too."
On behalf of the school, Dickinson had one message to give to Coleman.
"We love you, we believe in you. Go, win, go!"
Dennis Williams, an 18-year-old student at the school, said not only did he enjoy the performance, but Coleman is especially inspirational to him.
"We all look up to him, you know? We're deaf, he's deaf. We want to go into the pros and play sports like him. He's a great role model for us," he said.
Williams said he hopes to play football one day, just like his hero.
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