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And I'd say, "You know it, man." What I was feeling was no pain. Coked out.
Nobody really checks like they should, of course. The league could attack the drug problem in a minute with urine tests, but they steer off that land mine because the Players Association objects so strenuously. It's crazy, really. You object to something that will prove you're doing wrong, and you get carte blanche to keep on doing it. In sports involving dogs and horses, they take tests all the time. And Olympic athletes have to be tested. But they don't dare test the players in the NFL. It's crazy.
After a while, I began snorting it at our home in Hialeah. I'd stay up, waiting for Paulette to put Myron Paul to bed, and then I'd take some cocaine out and toot it. One night I even got Paulette to try it, but one sniff and she said, "Unh-unh. That ain't me."
On May 4, 1977, the bubble burst. It was bizarre, and it was dumb, and when I look back I still can't believe I did it. For a lousy 500 bucks, I threw my career into the toilet.
Randy Crowder and I were never drug "dealers." The first time we tried "dealing" was the only time, and like the amateurs we were, we screwed it up every way possible. I don't think Randy would have done it at all if I hadn't talked him into it. He was a good person, a starting defensive lineman for the Dolphins, and when the "opportunity" first came up he was dead against it.
Here's what happened. One night Randy and I went down to Mercury Morris' house to play some basketball and drink some beer, and when we dropped back by Randy's place—he wasn't married then; he lived alone—an airlines stewardess named Camille Richardson called. She said she wanted to buy some coke. Camille had tooted with us before. She said she had a problem and needed to get some to sell. Randy said, "Girl, you must be crazy. No way."
But Camille persisted. She said her mother was sick in the hospital, and the bill was running close to 5,000 bucks, and that's what she figured she could make on a coke deal, selling it "to a couple guys from Philadelphia." If we got it for her. Dumb Don Reese fell for it like a ton of bricks. The little professor in my mind said, "Hey, you can make something on this transaction without even getting involved."
I talked to a dealer the next day. He said there was a "lot of good stuff in town, at a good price." I called Randy and told him we should go along. Just pass it from one hand to the other and take a middleman's cut. He was still reluctant.
This went on for eight or nine days. Camille changed her story. She said the Philadelphia guys wanted to come in and get it that week, but now they needed a pound and they'd pay $18,000 or $19,000 for it. I was still willing. I figured if we bought a pound for $13,000, we could cover Camille's mother's expenses and still split a thousand bucks between us. Just to make the switch. Finally, everyone agreed.
It rained hard all morning on May 4, a bad omen. Randy and I drove to Camille's place in Randy's baby-blue Lincoln Continental, and the cars were flooding out all around us. We were unlucky. We got through. I should have known something was wrong immediately because Camille's apartment was practically cleaned out. I said, "Camille, you didn't tell me you were moving." She said, "Oh yeah, I have a new place."