By Joe Gulick
A question Dirk West was often asked was “Who is Moss?” The little guy whose face was always hidden from readers attracted a lot of curiosity.
Fans often speculated about Moss’ identity. Some thought Moss represented Dirk himself, and one theory made the name Moss into an acronym that gave a clue. But the full story about him is simple.
Moss was actually nobody in particular. He was intended to represent the average Texas Tech fan. Dirk said he took the name from an old dice-rolling saying: “Moss and Ted and Wagonyard Red.” The saying also had been used by card-players, he said.
In this cartoon from Nov. 6, 1975, the Boo Bird mentioned Moss’ lesser-known companions.
Dirk wasn’t joking here about TCU — the Horned Frogs had an 18-game losing streak going, and Tech beat TCU 34-0 in Fort Worth two days later. The losing streak ended at 20 when the Frogs beat Rice.
The Red Raider’s thought balloon here was a very rare usage by Dirk of that common cartoonist’s device.
In 1974, Baylor coach Grant Teaff received one of his six Southwest Conference Coach of the Year honors and also was voted the NCAA’s Coach of the Year. But the Bears struggled in 1975 with a 3-6-2 record. Incidentally, Teaff was an assistant coach at Lubbock High School in 1956 and at Texas Tech from 1966 to 1968.
Previous Dirk West Cartoons