Awesome Deaf Sportsball Team Wins Game, Gives Us Story That Actually Is Happy And Nice

Awesome Deaf Sportsball Team Wins Game, Gives Us Story That Actually Is Happy And Nice

Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Annoyed at us for posting the Wes Anderson trailer? Cleanse the palate of your day with this almost-unbearably-delightful story about this football team from the teeny-tiny Michigan School for the Deaf and how they done won their first football game in 35 years.

Among the clutter of paperwork and binders stacked in his cramped office at the Michigan School for the Deaf, Sammy Oates adamantly points to a picture pinned to the wall with a thumbtack and beams with pride.

It’s a picture of him and 11 students — the football team at the School for the Deaf — after winning the school’s first game since 1978. They are posed in front of a scoreboard that proves they did indeed beat New Haven Merritt Academy, 50-26, Thursday Oct. 10 at their home field in Flint.

No, that’s not the 11 starters. That’s the entire team. The school itself only has 50 kids. They play 8-man football, which is a thing you will only understand if you come from a football-crazed rural place where football team numbers get scaled down so small schools can play. The coach came from coaching a much bigger school for the deaf in Austin, Texas, so now he is basically going to be the Coach Taylor of this little tiny team


…and it will be wonderful and they will be scrappy and triumphant as fuck because they already are.


Matten was one of the students who at first was reluctant to play football. Oates refers to him as a natural athlete but the task of learning the game — especially at the quarterback position — seemed daunting, Matten said.

All the plays, for example, are communicated via sign language and the football terminology used was totally different than much of the words the players had already learned.

“It was very hard to learn when I started and I wasn’t sure how long I would play, but I love it now,” Matten said. “I think when I saw my family come watch me play for the first time and how happy it made them, that was really exciting for me. That really meant a lot for me and I’m already excited about playing again (next season).”

See? Happy. Nice. You’re welcome. Don’t say we never did anything for you.

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