Two weeks before
the strike ended, Channel 5 took away Martin's sports-casting job. "People
liked his work," says Sports Director Scott Murray. "But he was
undependable. We'd have a camera crew waiting somewhere and he wouldn't show
up, or we'd have a film editor on overtime waiting and he'd come three hours
late. He was just such a nice guy and an easy touch that he'd allowed himself
to get involved in too many other things."
At a post-strike
game in Washington a few fans celebrated Martin's bankruptcy by pelting him
with pennies. As he dropped into his three-point stance on a Washington
extra-point attempt, a Redskin lineman hissed. "Hey, Harvey, need a
On a play late in
the game, an interception thrown by Joe Theismann, Martin landed a forearm
fraught with frustration on the quarterback's face. Then he took what was left
of his rage and vented it on Wide Receiver Art Monk's skull. The two catharses
gave the bankrupt defensive end one more creditor. He owed Pete Rozelle a fine
thought the storm had finally passed. He had shrugged off his debts through the
miracle of Chapter 7, and his mother now controlled his finances with a cobra
of a checkbook that snapped anytime Harvey's fingers came near. He registered
eight sacks in the strike-shortened season, and many felt it was the best
football he had played in three years.
In the week
before the Cowboys' second-round playoff game against Green Bay, Martin saw men
gathered around his locker after practice, whispering. They were news reporters
who wanted Martin's reaction to Stone's testimony in court that day that
Martin's involvement was more serious than a few friendly snapshots. "He
would go in on it [cocaine] with me," Stone had said. "[He] would say,
'Here's [some money], I want so-and-so.'...I don't think he'd ever done it
before [he knew me]. I think I talked him into taking a toot."
stunned. "Please believe me," he begged. "Somebody is trying to
hurt me bad. I don't know why. My God, he lied on me...."
Harvey went home,
and all the pain and all the anxiety of all the years came galloping back to
him on the heels of this hot-breathing new hurt. He remembered Duane Thomas.
His heart pounded. He couldn't sit still and feel this anymore. He called his
mother and told her he was quitting football that day.
At midnight a rap
on the front door awakened ex-Cowboy Tackle Rayfield Wright, who as a veteran
had helped Martin in his early years. Wright, in his robe, opened the door.
"Just looking at Harvey," Wright said later, "I got chill bumps all
quitting, Cat," Martin said. "I'm sick of people accusing me of things
I haven't done."
said Wright, "you gonna quit because of that?"