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Old 06-30-2009   #1
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Default Barwin Conquers Deafness

A nice feel good story about Barwin's battle to overcome deafness. I never knew he had hearing issues until this article. Let's all hope he can succeed in the NFL as he has throughout his life.

I never even noticed his left ear.

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Doctors told them Connor’s right ear was easily correctable with minor surgery and tubes. His left ear was a different story. He had a benign tumor wrapped like a vine around the inside of his ear. It would have to be removed piece by piece over the course of several surgeries, and they would need to put in prosthesis.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...t/6503935.html
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Old 06-30-2009   #2
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

Huh?
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Old 06-30-2009   #3
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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Originally Posted by Txn_in_NC View Post
Huh?
What?
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Old 06-30-2009   #4
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

“The move to defense (as a senior) definitely eliminated any hearing problems impacting my football game, because on defense you’re just watching movement and ball movement. There’s not really any problem with it anymore.”
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I dunno, but this would seem to be one DLineman who won't get tagged with many offsides even in passing situations.
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Old 06-30-2009   #5
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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“The move to defense (as a senior) definitely eliminated any hearing problems impacting my football game, because on defense you’re just watching movement and ball movement. There’s not really any problem with it anymore.”
********************************************
I dunno, but this would seem to be one DLineman who won't get tagged with many offsides even in passing situations.
I dunno, but I'd think he'd still need to hear D-Ryans make defensive calls. Seeing he'd be at right DE, that might pose a problem. Eh, if Conner says he's good with it, I'm good.
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Old 06-30-2009   #6
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

There was a totally deaf DE who played in the pros a few years ago, a pretty good one iirc.

He was from West Texas and played for the Broncos.

OH NO! BRONCO DEAFNESS CONNEXION!! RUN AWAY!!!!
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Old 06-30-2009   #7
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Post Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
There was a totally deaf DE who played in the pros a few years ago, a pretty good one iirc.

He was from West Texas and played for the Broncos.

OH NO! BRONCO DEAFNESS CONNEXION!! RUN AWAY!!!!
Wasn't there a player on the Cardinals as well? Can't remember his name, but I think it was in the 70's. IIRC they did a story on him on The NFL Today.
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Old 06-30-2009   #8
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

As long as he can play ball, that's all that counts. He seems to have been handling it pretty good so far.

One of my best friends in High School was deaf and he was a hell of a baseball player. If you didn't know it you couldn't tell, he really didn't talk like he was. We used to have some fun with him though. We would go to the library and when he wasn't looking stick books in his backpack. When he would go to leave it would activate the beeper at the door and he wouldn't hear a thing, the librarian would have to go after him and see what he was doing. After a awhile though, he caught on to it and always checked his bag before leaving. It didn't bother him a bit either, he actually thought it was funny, he was a great person.
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Old 06-30-2009   #9
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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Originally Posted by False Start View Post
As long as he can play ball, that's all that counts. He seems to have been handling it pretty good so far.

One of my best friends in High School was deaf and he was a hell of a baseball player. If you didn't know it you couldn't tell, he really didn't talk like he was. We used to have some fun with him though. We would go to the library and when he wasn't looking stick books in his backpack. When he would go to leave it would activate the beeper at the door and he wouldn't hear a thing, the librarian would have to go after him and see what he was doing. After a awhile though, he caught on to it and always checked his bag before leaving. It didn't bother him a bit either, he actually thought it was funny, he was a great person.
HAha...that's pretty funny...

It's almost like when we used to toss like 60 little paper wads into this guy's hair and he wouldn't feel it because he used half a bottle of max-hold-9000 every single day. Except he hated it...
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Old 06-30-2009   #10
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
I dunno, but I'd think he'd still need to hear D-Ryans make defensive calls. Seeing he'd be at right DE, that might pose a problem. Eh, if Conner says he's good with it, I'm good.


He might get a few late hits called on him if he can't hear the whistle but it really is most likely not going to be a problem. He hears pretty good out of his right ear and 30% to 40% hearing loss out of his left ear. He'll do fine. My hearing is almost that bad out of both ears from working around aircraft for 23 years. You adapt over time and in Conners case he has never known any different so I think this will turn out to be a non issue. Heck, maybe he will be able to read the offensive cordinators lips.
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Old 07-01-2009   #11
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
There was a totally deaf DE who played in the pros a few years ago, a pretty good one iirc.

He was from West Texas and played for the Broncos.

OH NO! BRONCO DEAFNESS CONNEXION!! RUN AWAY!!!!
There was Kenny Walker, but I remember another Bronco that was partially deaf and pretty darn good. It'll come to mind eventually.
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Old 07-12-2009   #12
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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Originally Posted by False Start View Post
As long as he can play ball, that's all that counts. He seems to have been handling it pretty good so far.

One of my best friends in High School was deaf and he was a hell of a baseball player. If you didn't know it you couldn't tell, he really didn't talk like he was. We used to have some fun with him though. We would go to the library and when he wasn't looking stick books in his backpack. When he would go to leave it would activate the beeper at the door and he wouldn't hear a thing, the librarian would have to go after him and see what he was doing. After a awhile though, he caught on to it and always checked his bag before leaving. It didn't bother him a bit either, he actually thought it was funny, he was a great person.
Eh. It's pretty funny until you turn your head up to several cops pointing a gun at you while walking out of the Palais Royal at Pasadena Town Square. That's exactly what happened to me about 10 years ago. I purchased a pair of jeans from Dillards (or something). Salesgirl did not remove the thing that sets off alarms. Well. I went walking in and out of several stores before coming to the realization that the cops were mounting up some sort of an attack formation on me. I noticed people looking and pointing at me but thought nothing of it. I was too zoned in with my shopping to realize mall security had been trying to get my attention for some time. Anyway, I look up to find people crouching down and a cop about 25 feet away from me staring down the barrel of his gun.

I still get chills about that day as well as one other incident which can be saved for a future post.

Don't get me wrong. I'm pretty hard on the Deaf community with the jokes and all myself. I discriminate against all races, creeds, religion and disabilities equally and I do mean discriminate.
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Old 07-12-2009   #13
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

That's pretty cool, I didn't know that about him. I had I think 7 ear surgeries myself; about a year ago, a bloody pulp finally came out of my right ear, giving me great hearing. My bad hearing as a kid did give me a speech impediment though.
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Old 07-12-2009   #14
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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Originally Posted by HOU-TEX View Post
I dunno, but I'd think he'd still need to hear D-Ryans make defensive calls. Seeing he'd be at right DE, that might pose a problem. Eh, if Conner says he's good with it, I'm good.
Why though? He has one job and that's to get to the QB as fast as you can any way you can. Doesn't really matter what DeMeco's calling. Really doesn't. The Texans can call all the audibiles you want but the opposing QB is going to quickly learn that the Texans audibiles do not apply to Connor Barwin. He's coming period. It gives the Texans an element that others don't really have. Think of the dialogue between Danny and the coach in the movie, The Replacements. Danny. I need the ball. Danny get me the ball.

As for my feelings on Barwin "conquering" his Deafness.... bleh. This article is a fluff piece that carries little merit to it. I had tubes put in my ears. A LOT of people have tubes put in their ears. It has nothing to do with his ear function. It's merely draining the fluid build up in his ears which is a VERY common issue. If anything... Connor conquered the possibility of cancer or brain injury by having that large tumor removed. His hearing loss is a result of EITHER of the tumor itself or the surgeries required to remove the tumor. He didn't "regain" anything here. I'm sure we've got an ENT here who can loosely confirm this.

Anyway... now speaking as a Deaf person who played 4 years high school football as well as jr high (I was on the same team as texaninlilid at Knox), being Deaf and playing defense on the line is DEFINITELY an advantage. Connor will NEVER get drawn offsides without the other team getting called for a false start first. Read and react is the only way Deaf people can play. Not a Richard Smith type of read and react but our eyes are on the ball for the duration of the entire game. His job is very simple. Get the ball as fast as you motherf'ing can. No and if or buts about it. It's probably why he made the transisition from TE to DE so smoothly. It's exactly where you want a Deaf football player to be, on the defensive line.

For what it's worth... I didn't know he had hearing issues until now. I guess I'd better buy me a Barwin jersey. I like Deaf football players. I guess it's in my blood. Connor isn't Deaf though. He's hard of hearing like my boy, Cage.

ALTHOUGH

Whoever mentioned Kenny Walker... he sucked. He was dumber than a box of rocks. I remember him coming to TSD for a speech at our summer football camp... I asked him to spell California (a cheap insulting tactic that I've always adhered to when judging new students intellectual level). The man spelled it Calia. I swear. D-U-M-B. I hated that he was the man that Deaf athletes were supposed to look up to back then.
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Old 07-12-2009   #15
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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Wasn't there a player on the Cardinals as well? Can't remember his name, but I think it was in the 70's. IIRC they did a story on him on The NFL Today.
I know a Deaf person who said he made the team on the Houston Oilers. A jerk actually. I see him from time to time around town. He played during the 60's. Anyway to verify this? His name was Sammy Oates and he played guard. His son, Sammy Jr., tried out for the Oilers but did not make the team.

The Cardinals guy was Bonnie Sloan.
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Old 07-12-2009   #16
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

As for the late hits...

What? We never heard the whistle blow back in the day. I loved laying out punishment even though I knew the play was over. What do you mean a late hit? But if I didn't hear the whistle...

*whistling*

Opponents quickly learned that they had to throw the ball on the ground to let us know the play was over. They were getting mowed if they didn't. FYI, I played on an all-Deaf squad at TSD (texas school for the Deaf in Austin) throughout high school.

I'm going to love seeing Barwin get flagged for a late hit here and there. It's just the kind of ferociousness we need on the team. At least we can use his hearing as an excuse when pleading with the refs...

If Connor does not get a 15 yard late penalty this season on Manning, I'm going to be rather disappointed.
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Old 07-12-2009   #17
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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As for the late hits...

What? We never heard the whistle blow back in the day. I loved laying out punishment even though I knew the play was over. What do you mean a late hit? But if I didn't hear the whistle...

*whistling*

Opponents quickly learned that they had to throw the ball on the ground to let us know the play was over. They were getting mowed if they didn't. FYI, I played on an all-Deaf squad at TSD (texas school for the Deaf in Austin) throughout high school.
I'm going to love seeing Barwin get flagged for a late hit here and there. It's just the kind of ferociousness we need on the team. At least we can use his hearing as an excuse when pleading with the refs...

If Connor does not get a 15 yard late penalty this season on Manning, I'm going to be rather disappointed.

A couple years ago, I went to TSD to watch their basketball team. That was an amazing experience to see how they played and communicated. Also, the drums, etc... added to a really wild experience. I didn't know they had a football team too.
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Old 07-12-2009   #18
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

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A couple years ago, I went to TSD to watch their basketball team. That was an amazing experience to see how they played and communicated. Also, the drums, etc... added to a really wild experience. I didn't know they had a football team too.
Football is where it gets really wild. You really SHOULD go to a game. Wait till you see the drum they have lined up at the line of scrimmage. I love seeing the faces of opponents when they see us wheel out out bass drum. It's at least 7 or 8 feet in diameter. That's what they pound on to start the count before we hike the ball. We rely on the vibrations of the bass drum instead of a snap count. It's truly a huge drum.

There's even an all-Deaf college football team at Gallaudet University. Www.gallaudetathletics.com. They play D-III ball and they're pretty good right now. I'm a fan of Ed Hottle, their coach.

Did you know that the huddle is credited to Gallaudet? The NFL as well as other colleges saw that Deaf kids would huddle up in a circle when they would call plays back in the old days. Opponents could read sign language so they huddled up so nobody could see what they were saying. Hence the invention of the huddle as we all know it today. That was back in 1894. 1894!
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Old 07-12-2009   #19
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

For you, Nitro, and others interested in a real yet little known piece of football history. (Be sure to also open the links at the end of the article.)

Deaf Football Player Invented the American Football Huddle




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About 100 million Americans will watch Super Bowl XLIII today. How many of them know the history of American football huddle? Who invented the huddle? About 85 percent of people don’t know that Deaf player at Gallaudet University invented the American football huddle in 1894.

Who invented it? How did the football huddle start? Paul Hubbard the quarterback player at Gallaudet University realized that his sign language (hand signal) could be read by opposing players so he had to pull his players into a circle so that his sign language could be shown without anyone on the sidelines or on the opposing team seeing.

Many years before the first huddle, many Deaf football players used sign language to signal to each other as they played until Paul Huddbard got fed up of the other team watching and guessing their plays so he invented the huddle. Then they exchanged the secrets through sign language inside the huddle.

Today every footbal team uses this type of huddle as it is still in common use today, typically between plays in American football as the quarterback assigns the next play to the offense.

Here’s an interesting story about the football at Gallaudet Unviersity:

http://www.fredbowen.com/c100600.htm

Also, see old Gallaudet photos of Deaf football team:

http://archives.gallaudet.edu/Football.htm
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Old 07-12-2009   #20
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Default Re: Barwin Conquers Deafness

Nitro, I actually didn't see your post before putting together my last post. But it serves as a nice "complement" to yours.
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