Billy Waddy was a football star who played for the Colorado Buffaloes and the Los Angeles Rams. He was known for his speed, agility, and big plays. He died on January 21, 2022, in Minnesota, at the age of 67. The cause of his death has not been publicly revealed.
Early Life and College Career
Billy Waddy was born on February 19, 1954, in Wharton, Texas. He grew up in a musical family, as his father was a jazz musician and his mother was a singer. He was also related to the rapper Mos Def, who was his cousin. He developed a passion for football and art at an early age, and attended Boling High School, where he excelled in both fields.
Waddy was recruited to play football at the University of Colorado by Eddie Crowder, and played his last three seasons for Bill Mallory. He played wingback and split end, and was a versatile and explosive player. He rushed for 1,554 yards and 12 touchdowns, caught 31 passes for 475 yards and two touchdowns, returned 32 kickoffs for 849 yards and two touchdowns, punted three times for an average of 50.0 yards per punt, and even threw six passes for 169 yards and three touchdowns. He earned All-Big 8 honorable mention three times in his career, and helped the Buffaloes reach the Bluebonnet Bowl in 1975 and the Orange Bowl in 1976.
NFL Career and Super Bowl Appearance
Waddy was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round of the 1977 NFL Draft. He played six seasons with the Rams and one season with the Minnesota Vikings. He was a reliable and dynamic wide receiver, who caught 120 passes for 1,953 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 16.4 yards per catch. He also returned 49 kickoffs for 1,091 yards and 19 punts for 154 yards.
Waddy’s most memorable moment came in the 1979 divisional playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys, when he scored the game-winning touchdown on a 50-yard pass from Vince Ferragamo with less than two minutes to play. The Rams won 21-19 and advanced to the NFC Championship Game, where they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-0. Waddy and the Rams then faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV, where he had another impressive performance, catching three passes for 75 yards. However, the Rams lost 31-19, as Ferragamo threw an interception late in the fourth quarter, when Waddy was wide open down the field.
Death and Tributes
Waddy died on January 21, 2022, in New Brighton, Minnesota, where he had been living for several years. The cause of his death has not been disclosed by his family or his former teams. His death was announced by his friend and fellow rapper, Talib Kweli, who posted a tribute to him on Instagram. Many other celebrities and friends also expressed their condolences and shared their memories of Waddy on social media, such as Erykah Badu, Questlove, Pharoahe Monch, Jean Grae, and Murs. They described him as a creative, passionate, talented, intelligent, loyal, and beautiful person.
Waddy left behind a legacy of football, music, and art that influenced and inspired many people. He was a pioneer and a trailblazer who challenged the norms and boundaries of his fields. He was a rebel and a leader who expressed his views and values with courage and charisma. He was a lover and a friend who celebrated and respected women and diversity.
Waddy also left behind a family and a community that loved and missed him. He had a daughter, who was his pride and joy. He had a mother, who was his first teacher and supporter. He had a cousin, who was his partner and collaborator. He had a group, who was his crew and family. He had girlfriends, who were his muses and companions. He had friends, who were his peers and mentors.
Billy Waddy’s cause of death may remain a mystery, but his life and work will not be forgotten. He will be remembered as a man who lived his life to the fullest, and who shared his gifts with the world. He will be honored as a man who made his mark on history, and who left a legacy for the future.