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SI Update
David Epstein
January 08, 2007
Bobby Martin LIFE OF REILLY, Oct. 3, 2005
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January 08, 2007

Si Update

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Bobby Martin
LIFE OF REILLY, Oct. 3, 2005

BEING BORN without legs couldn't keep Bobby Martin, who stands three feet tall and weighs 110 pounds, from playing noseguard for Colonel White High in Dayton. The only thing that could sideline him was a ref's ruling. Midway through a game in 2005, his senior season, officials told Martin that he had to leave the field because he wasn't wearing shoes, which was a violation of the uniform code. "How can I wear shoes if I don't have feet?" Martin said.

It was a good question, and Martin was allowed to return to the field the following week. Propelling himself with his arms, he finished the season with 48 tackles. At halftime of one game Martin swapped his 99 jersey for a sport coat and was honored as Colonel White's homecoming king.

Martin is now studying marketing—but not playing football—at Central State, just outside Dayton. Last month Browns coach Romeo Crennel invited him to a practice. After watching punt returner Dennis Northcutt shake defender after defender, Martin approached him and said, "I bet you can't shake me." With a little goading from wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who bet $100 on Martin, Northcutt accepted the challenge. Martin hung with Northcutt for 20 yards, finally forcing him out-of-bounds at the one-yard line. "Man, you're fast," Northcutt told him. "I thought I was going to leave you at the 20."