Winning Sounds Like This: A Season With the Women's Basketball Team at Gallaudet, The World's Only University for the Deaf

By Wayne Coffey


In light of the 2006 Gallaudet protest, I came to the sobering realization that most of the mainstream media still has no clue about Deaf culture. I was chagrined to see that only a few dedicated reporters truly took the time to take a deeper look inside the Deaf community and the issues involved.

As a result, too many newspaper articles were alarmingly out of touch with what was really going on. It reminded me of an infamous quote by former Philadelphia Phillies' third baseman Mike Schmidt: Only in Philadelphia do you have the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it the next day.

It is for this reason I have chosen to highlight Wayne Coffey's Winning Sounds Like This. Although the book is indeed highly recommended and enjoyable reading, I also feel the need to bring attention to it so that the Deaf community can say now THIS is how it's done to any mainstream reporter who wishes to write about the Deaf world.

Wayne Coffey did his homework -- and then some. The reason this hearing reporter is able to pull off such a top-quality job is because he fully immersed himself into Deaf culture while compiling material for his book.

Winning Sounds Like This is Coffey's insightful coverage of the 1999-2000 Gallaudet University women's basketball team. He dives headfirst into the lives and everyday routines of ten basketball players and the Deaf culture they live in. He attended every game, rode on bus trips, interviewed players, followed them around campus, accompanied them to their classes, and even lived in the dorms (I'm surprised Coffey didn't go deaf himself considering the mega-watt stereos that are on full blast most weekends).

The result is a highly readable, fascinating account of life inside Gallaudet University and one of its most successful sports teams of all time. Wayne Coffey is a sportswriter who truly gets it and I greatly appreciate the effort he put in to share what he learned with the world at large.