Chuck Landon: Leftwich aka the Big Bopper?

Byron Leftwich's nickname is the "Big Bopper." Honest. I swear on a stack of Buddy Holly records. As Marshall Offensive Coordinator Mark McHale was walking off the field after Marshall's 38-14 win over Ball State Saturday, he looked over at me and said, "The Big Bopper had 401."


McHale could have burst into a rendition of "Peggy Sue" and I wouldn't have been more surprised.

But just about the time I had rationalized McHale's "Big Bopper" reference into being nothing more than a Saturday night over-dose of Dick Barkley, it happened again.

I was discussing the game with Marshall quarterback coach Larry Kueck when he suddenly said, "The Big Bopper sure was sharp tonight."


Kueck could have burst into a rendition of "La Bamba" and I wouldn't have been more surprised.

On the other hand, Kueck is a Texan. So, maybe, just maybe he listened to a disc jockey named J.P. Richardson back in Beaumont, Tex.

But somehow I doubt it.

Jiles P. Richardson was the original "Big Bopper." He was on the airplane "The Night The Music Died" and was killed along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

But, now, Byron A. Leftwich is the new "Big Bopper."

And it seems appropriate now that I think about it. After all, Byron "The Big Bopper" Leftwich certainly did make Ball State's secondary look as porous as "Chantilly Lace" Saturday night.

(You just knew that reference was coming, didn't you?)

But if Byron is the new "Big Bopper," doesn't he also need to have his own updated, personalized version of J.P. Richardson's one and only hit -- "Chantilly Lace"?

Well, of course he does.

So, I rewrote it, remixed it and renamed it. With apologies to nobody and expectations to match, here is "Chantilly Relaced."

"Chantilly relaced,
"Got a Coleman face,
"A Heisman tale, hanging down.
"A wiggle in his walk,
"And a giggle in his talk,
"Makes the Herd go 'round.
"Ain't nuthin' any gasser,
"Than a big-armed passer,
"Makes secondaries spend their nickel,
"And need George Dickel,
"Makes 'em play real soft,
"Like a team that's lost,
"And I say,
"Hey, baby, that's what MU likes."

(All rights reserved by He's Really Sick Records.)

If that's isn't a song befitting Marshall's new "Big Bopper," then I'll face the music. Along with McHale and Kueck, of course.

After all, I didn't give him the "Big Bopper" nickname. They did. I just write the songs, I write the songs.

Hey, you don't suppose Byron would like to be called the "Big Manilow," do you?

I guess not.

Herd Haven Top Stories