- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"I'm tired of fighting."
"Man, life is a fight. No matter how weak or tired you get, living is fighting."
Martin began to cry. "You know what I think it really was, beneath it all?" Wright said. "It was the shame he had brought to his mama."
At 2 a.m. Martin went home. A few minutes later a telephone ring awoke Tight End Billy Joe DuPree, and Martin thrashed through it again. He didn't sleep all night. In the morning he didn't report to work. His sister dialed, and after 20 rings he answered, telling her he was going to drive to his late grandmother's old house in Mabank.
"He wanted to escape back to his old haven," Mary says. "I lit into him. I told him I was going to leave my kids and sit on his front step until he went to practice. I told him if he quit, he was admitting guilt. He said, I still don't know,' and I yelled, 'Then you're guilty!' He started screaming, and then he started apologizing, and I said, 'There you go again, apologizing to everybody for showing your real feelings.' "
His mother called. "You're not gonna quit," she ordered. "That's just what some honkie wants you to do."
Finally, Martin trudged to his car and went to practice. But the story ran for days, and his two remaining playoff performances were dismal. The Dallas police chief announced he would not pursue the allegations against Martin, but Harvey's friends stopped calling, fearing his phone was bugged, and the reaction of many of his teammates and coaches stayed with him. "I went through it all alone," he says. "No one called me aside to say, 'It's O.K., we understand.' That's O.K., but I'll remember it. Randy White—I love him, and he's a great player—is the only one who gets a pat on the back on this team.
"And it was all because some defense attorney wanted to take attention off his client. I, Harvey Martin proper, never did a damn thing. How much can one man take?"
"Hey," says Pearson when asked about Martin's feeling that his teammates didn't support him, "when you're talking drugs, it's stay as far away as possible. Guys have to do that just to protect themselves."
When the playoffs ended, Martin would sometimes sit for hours in a friend's office, not wanting to be alone. Finally, he stomped into the office of his agent, Sarah Norton, and demanded to know why she no longer arranged any appearances or commercials for him. "You know what I'm fighting," she told him.