Kevin Martinez has been a Dallas Cowboys fan ever since the 1980s, when he started watching the team with his grandfather.
Today, as a Cowboys season ticket holder, Martinez was afforded the opportunity to appear on ESPN’s “We the Fans” show, a documentary series focusing on the lives of NFL fans who are dedicated to their team.
However, Martinez was not first on ESPN’s list for the show.
“Initially, I was turned down,” Martinez said. “They sent out an email to season ticket holders, making us aware of the show. I was at work and started to do the survey. It was lengthy, and I finished a couple of weeks later and sent it off.”
Martinez said about a month later, he received an email from an ESPN producer asking if he was interested in doing an interview.
After conducting the interview, Martinez didn’t hear anything for about a month. Then he was told he was not selected.
“I was kind of bummed out and thought the interview went pretty good,” he said. “I grew up watching ESPN. Always thought it would be cool to have anything to do with them.”
But then, Hurricane Harvey hit. Martinez lived in Whispering Pines with his wife, DeeDee, and three children.
“Monday morning, we left our house, and it started flooding. Water was coming in our back window,” Martinez said. “We went to my family’s house. Later that afternoon, I got an email from the ESPN producer who conducted my interview, and he said he remembered I was from Baytown. Since it was mentioned on the news, he asked if we were affected by the storm. I sent him the video of us leaving the house. A few minutes later, he emailed back and asked me if I was interested in being a part of the show.”
Martinez said while grateful, being on ESPN was the last thing on his mind at that time.
“We left the house with practically two days of clothes on our backs. That was about it,” he said.
But after talking to his wife, Martinez said OK, and a crew has been following him ever since.
Martinez said the ESPN crew would travel with him up to Dallas for Cowboy games.
“On opening weekend, they rode with me in my vehicle,” Martinez said. “They mic you up and talk about what and why you do what you do. The show is about football. But it is more about telling the lives of season ticket holders.”
Martinez is a part of a tailgating crew called the Borracho Tailgaters, made up of mostly veterans and consisting of about 250 people. Martinez himself is a veteran, who served in the U.S. Army from 1993 to 2000. He was a Patriot Missile crew member and served during Desert Storm.
The ESPN crew also went with him to pick up his son at school, went to dinner with them at Pipeline Grill on Garth Road and to his parents’ home in Lake Livingston. In addition, the crew went with Martinez to the Dirty Bay Beer Company on Texas Avenue to watch the Houston Astros embark on their quest to win their first-ever World Series title.
“The best thing I’ve gotten out of the experience so far is them letting people know what people in our community have gone through as far as the loss and getting adjusted,” Martinez said. “Take away the whole football aspect of it, I am hoping it will shed light on what a lot of people have gone through. That across the U.S., people will realize how much trouble it has been.”
“We the Fans,” set for its second season, is following eight or nine other people. Last season, the show focused in part on the Chicago Bears. At the end of the season, the whole cast was flown to Connecticut for a roundtable discussion, something Martinez said he hopes to do as well.
“I have met a couple of others they are doing stories on, but not all,” Martinez said. “I’d love to meet them all.”
Martinez said he is thrilled to have been a part of the ESPN show.
“The idea to be on ESPN has been neat. A lot of people would like to get that opportunity,” he said. “I am glad to have the opportunity to tell my story on what people have gone through down here.”