He stood 6-4, 270 pounds as a senior at Carolina in 1987, and after a decade plugging the trenches of the NFL had grown to well over 300 pounds. Often when introduced to someone new, Reuben Davis would hear a line something like, “Man, that’s a big joker.”
Davis laughs today. “I guess it stuck,” he says. “People just call me ‘The Big Joker.’”
“The Big Joker,” a native of Greensboro and now a Chapel Hill resident, will be playing again at a Tar Heel football game, nearly 30 years after hanging up his Carolina blue jersey. Davis operates his own disc jockey and music service and will be providing entertainment in Tar Heel Town from 9:30 to 11:45 before the Illinois football game.
“I’ve loved to spin music since I was eight years old,” Davis says. “I did a lot of campus parties, frats and sororities, the Great Hall, lounges at Ehringhaus and other dorms when I was in school.
“When I made the league in Tampa Bay, I bought some equipment and did a standing gig at the Tampa Marriott on Thursdays and in a sports bar on Fridays. I’ve always loved music and loved to see people dance and have a good time.”
Davis was a Letterman at defensive tackle for four years from 1984-87 and was first-team All-ACC as a sophomore. He played for Tampa Bay, Phoenix and San Diego in the NFL.
“I’m looking forward to the game,” he says. “No telling what I might play—old school Motown, sixties, pop, maybe some stuff for the younger crowd. You just have to read the crowd and get a feel for what they like.”
The Tar Heels will be looking for their second straight home victory after pounding N.C. A&T 53-14 Saturday when Illinois comes to Kenan Stadium.
“From what I’ve seen on film, Illinois will be the best team we’ve seen this year,” Tar Heel coach Larry Fedora says. “We’ll have our hands full. It was good to play with an edge Saturday, come out strong and keep it going through the second half.”