Otis and the Moon Rakers
by Rick Casey, 10/20/03
I guess in the back of my mind I knew that West Virginia running back Quincy Wilson was the son of former Louisville and Chicago Bears linebacker Otis Wilson. Not until the camera panned the stands during the West Virginia versus Miami game a couple of weeks ago to show the senior Wilson, did the memories come back.
The start of the Virginia Tech 1979 season was at the University of Louisville for a night game. My brother, Steve Casey, was a sophomore who had won the starting quarterback job for Tech.
My father and another brother drove in from North Carolina the day before the game, and I flew in from Virginia Beach the morning of the game. During the day we lounged around the motel room waiting for the time to drive to the stadium. Flipping through the channels on the TV, we came across the "Vince Gibson Show," Mr. Gibson being the head coach of Louisville.
Watching the half hour show, we could not believe the arrogance and pomposity of Gibson. The whole attitude of Gibson seemed to suggest that Tech would have been better off playing a different team for the season opener.
During the Gibson show, they did a brief piece on the Louisville linebackers, led by All American candidate Otis Wilson. They called themselves "Otis and the Moon Rakers". Although itís not uncommon today to see players with heads completely shaven, it was a shock to see the "Moon Rakers" with their hairless pates.
Arriving at the stadium, one of the first things we noticed (it pleased us greatly) was beer sold at the concessions and in the stands. Because we had done our share of secreting various libations into Lane Stadium, having beer openly sold at a college football game was quite the surprise. We were more than ready for the kickoff.
During the game, I of course watched the play of the Tech QB very closely but also paid a lot of attention to the Louisville middle linebacker. This Wilson guy was big, fast, and made a lot of tackles. Several times I noticed Wilson shaking his finger at and talking to Steve after a run or scramble.
Twenty-four years later, itís tough to recall many of the plays during the game itself. Tech had great success moving the ball between the 20s, and then turning it over in the red zone, mostly due to fumbles caused by the play of the Louisville linebackers. In the end, Tech won the game on a late field goal.
It had been a long day, ending with a satisfying Tech win. After the game, I was anxious to learn what the finger pointing and talking by Wilson was all about. Steve said while under center facing Wilson or getting up after a Wilson tackle, Wilson was shouting "Iím going to be here all night" or "You think youíre slick but you're not slick enough". Steve went on to tell me that Wilson was a very good player but the guy sure could talk!
Facing the younger Wilson this upcoming Wednesday, I believe the Tech linebackers are "going to be here all night long" and young Wilson is "not slick enough". I look forward to seeing the "Moon Raker's" face after a great Tech victory.