me," she admitted later. "He seemed desperate."
He returned to
his house and watched the piranhas pursue the goldfish when they were hungry
and ignore them the moment they were full. And he tried to understand what was
happening to him. But the only thing he felt was the ache to live in the
fishbowl once again.
after the season he checked into the Hazelden Foundation, a center for drug and
alcohol rehabilitation just outside Minneapolis. He stayed for a week. "We
sent him there to evaluate the program for us," Landry claimed, "not to
dry out. I don't feel he's involved [with drugs] right now."
The media and his
teammates were quick to express skepticism. His mother became angry. "The
best thing to come out of it all for that child," she said, "is that
they are teaching him how to hate."
It is just past
noon on the day after Damn Yankees has closed, and Harvey Martin finally
appears from his bedroom, exhaling away the night in yawn after yawn. He greets
the woman in the living room, whom the maids let in at 10:30, and walks back
toward his bedroom. She follows him to the bedroom door, finds herself
confronting another guest and pulls the hastiest U-turn you will ever see a
woman in high heels make. She leaves the house, and Martin comes out cringing.
He is wearing a shiny silver jacket with HARVEY stitched in blue across the
breast. He drops off his other guest at a shopping mall and heads for Biffs, a
bar-restaurant in North Dallas. As he walks in. Biffs father invites him to his
table and a man selling home security systems hands him his card and Martin
waves to everyone and finds an empty table and kisses the waitress, who
whispers that a girl has called to say she left her pocketbook in his backseat.
The hostess comes up to say someone wants him on the phone, and Harvey smiles
like Snidely Whiplash and walks off with his arm around her shoulders.
He returns and
talks about how he has become a loner. "I'm very lonely now," he says,
"but I feel safer living this way. I'm drawing closer to the ones I know
love me. I don't trust anyone else now. Suddenly you find out you only have
your mother. And it'll stay this way until I get married, until I find the
protection of a woman. Through all the hard times, all I've ever had to trust
"Life used to
be fun. It's not fun anymore. I'm more cautious. More afraid. I don't go to the
meat-market bars. I stay to myself because I can't be ugly to people. I tried
to make everyone like me, but there are people who don't like God. I realize
now that every time my picture comes on TV there are people saying, 'I'm crazy
about Harvey Martin' and people saying, 'I hate that sonuvabitch.' It's a cruel
lesson. I can't wait for life to get back to the way it used to be, before
anyone knew Harvey Martin."
The scowl of the
man he is not supposed to be hangs like a dark wrinkled curtain over his face.
"The fun's out of being a football player, too," he says. "Ever
since Don Reese did that article on cocaine [SI, June 14, 1982], it's like
there's an all-out effort to catch us at something. The public and the media
don't understand what they're doing to the people living this life. You can't
go out and drink three beers or meet a new girl. Now people feel like they have
to bring you down if you're a celebrity, and if you happen to be black, too—oh,
He swallows a
third of his beer and repeats three times, "This is the South, man. This is
the South. This is the South'. With a white guy it wouldn't be the same. I'm
sorry—no! They found a vial of white powder on a white guy on the team [Cowboy
reserve Defensive Tackle Don Smerek] and nothing happened. If it'd been me,
there'd have been a trial.