LIFE OF REILLY, Oct. 3, 2005
BEING BORN withoutlegs couldn't keep Bobby Martin, who stands three feet tall and weighs 110pounds, from playing noseguard for Colonel White High in Dayton. The only thingthat could sideline him was a ref's ruling. Midway through a game in 2005, hissenior season, officials told Martin that he had to leave the field because hewasn't wearing shoes, which was a violation of the uniform code. "How can Iwear shoes if I don't have feet?" Martin said.
It was a goodquestion, and Martin was allowed to return to the field the following week.Propelling himself with his arms, he finished the season with 48 tackles. Athalftime of one game Martin swapped his 99 jersey for a sport coat and washonored as Colonel White's homecoming king.
Martin is nowstudying marketing—but not playing football—at Central State, just outsideDayton. Last month Browns coach Romeo Crennel invited him to a practice. Afterwatching punt returner Dennis Northcutt shake defender after defender, Martinapproached him and said, "I bet you can't shake me." With a littlegoading from wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who bet $100 on Martin, Northcuttaccepted the challenge. Martin hung with Northcutt for 20 yards, finallyforcing 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."