By Cara R. Anthony, Frederick News-Post, 2/3/2014
WALKERSVILLE — When the third deaf player in NFL history took to the field on Super Bowl Sunday, he had the support of 15 men in Frederick County.
“That’s him! That’s him,” Mark Alford proclaimed when he saw Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman on television.
Like Colman, Alford and his friends are hearing impaired. Each year, the men watch the Super Bowl together — a tradition they’ve upheld for more than 30 years.
They threw their first party in 1981.
“First we had 10, then we had 12, and now we have 15,” Robert Padden said through a sign-language facilitator.
Sending their wives to a local restaurant has also become a tradition. It gives the men time to catch up, eat, make bets and watch football. They gathered around Bourne’s television Sunday to cheer for their respective teams.
Robert Davila, of New Market, said he wanted the Seahawks to win. He married his wife in Seattle.
“I am still loyal to the city,” Davila said. “She is the only reason I know the city, so I have been loyal ever since.”
Davila said he was cheering for Coleman even though other men at the party had their money on Denver.