Billy Johnson (American football)

Billy Johnson (American football)

Infobox NFLretired

name=Billy Johnson
position=WR / Return specialist
birthdate=birth date and age|1952|1|27
Boothwyn, Pennsylvania
* Houston Oilers (1974-1980)
* Montreal Alouettes (1981)
* Atlanta Falcons (1982-1987)
* Washington Redskins (1988)
stat1label=Return Touchdowns
stat2label=PR yards
stat3label=KR yards
* 3x Pro Bowl selection (1975, 1977, 1983)
* 3x All-Pro selection (1975, 1977, 1983)
* NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team
* NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
* 1983 NFL Comeback Player of the Year
* 1975 Pro Bowl MVP

William Arthur Johnson, aka "White Shoes", (born January 27, 1952 in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania) was an American football player in the National Football League from 1974 through 1988. He is widely famous for his elaborate celebrations in the end zone.

Early life

Johnson earned his famous nickname as a high schooler at Chichester High School in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, where he was painting a fence with white paint and spilled some of the paint on his new shoes. Ever since then, he has been referred to by his nickname. He was a very fast athlete, but his 5'9" size turned off prominent universities from recruiting him. Billy ended up going to Widener College in Pennsylvania, a small Division III school, where he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. While there, he had a highly successful career, but was barely noticed by pro scouts. He was eventually discovered by the Houston Oilers, who selected him in the 15th round of the 1974 NFL Draft.

Pro Football career

Houston Oilers

Despite the late selection, he managed to make the squad as a kick returner. Eventually, his speed and quickness became an occasional part of an offense. As a rookie, he began celebrating touchdowns with a dance known as the "Funky Chicken", a dance based on a song from soul singer Rufus Thomas. It was one of the first touchdown celebrations in league history. The dance, along with his footwear, made Billy Johnson very popular among Oilers fans.

As a kick returner, Johnson returned 5 punts for touchdowns, along with 2 kickoffs, in his first 4 years with the Oilers, and added 12 more TDs on offense. He was selected to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner in 1975, and was named MVP of the game, during which he ran a punt back 90 yards for a touchdown. He made another Pro Bowl appearance in 1977. In 1978, he suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss most of the next two seasons and lingered with him for the rest of his career. When he returned in 1980, he was no longer the kick returner, serving only as a backup wide receiver.

CFL and the Atlanta Falcons

A year in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes followed in 1981, then he resurfaced with the Atlanta Falcons in 1982. In 1983, he doubled as a full time kick returner, where he scored his 6th career touchdown on a punt return, and starting wide receiver, leading the team in receptions. Johnson earned his 3rd Pro Bowl berth that season. He missed most of 1984 to injury, and was benched as a returnman in 1985. However, he did lead the Falcons in receptions and receiving yards that season. Another injury in 1986 began to signal the beginning of the end for White Shoes, and he retired after the 1987 season, although he briefly unretired to play one game for the Washington Redskins in 1988.


In 1994, White Shoes was selected as the punt returner on the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. His days at Widener have also earned him a selection into the College Football Hall of Fame.

External links

* [ Career Stats]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Billy Taylor (American football) — Infobox Pro Football player DateOfBirth= Birthplace= city state|Hoxie|Arkansas Position=RB College=Michigan DraftedYear=1971 DraftedRound=5 Jersey= Stats=n DatabaseFootball= PFR= years=1972 teams=CFL Calgary StampedersWilliam Billy Taylor, Ed. D …   Wikipedia

  • Damian Johnson (American football) — Damian Johnson Position(s) Offensive lineman Born December 18, 1962 (1962 12 18) (age 48) Great Bend, Kansas Career information …   Wikipedia

  • Curtis Johnson (American football coach) — Place of birth New Orleans, LA, USA Position(s) Coach College University of Idaho Team(s) as a coach/administrator 1987 88 1989 93 1994 1995 1996 05 2006 present Idaho Wide Receivers San Diego State Wide Receivers SMU …   Wikipedia

  • Billy Johnson — may refer to: *Billy Johnson (American football) (born 1952), football player (a.k.a., White Shoes ) *Billy Johnson (baseball) (1918 ndash;2006), baseball player *Billy Johnson (Mormon) (born 1934), leader and missionary of The Church of Jesus… …   Wikipedia

  • Billy Johnson — Position(en): WR, PR, KR Trikotnummer(n): 81, 84, 88 geboren am 27. Januar 1952 in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania Karriereinformationen Aktiv: 1974–1988 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Billy Johnson (Begriffsklärung) — Billy Johnson ist der Name folgender Personen: Billy Johnson (* 1952), US amerikanischer American Football Spieler Billy Johnson (Baseballspieler) (* 1918; † 2006), US amerikanischer Baseball Spieler Siehe auch William Johnson (Begriffsklärung)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • American Football Coaches Association — Infobox Organization name = American Football Coaches Association image border = size = caption = msize = mcaption = motto = formation = 1921 extinction = type = headquarters = Waco, Texas location = membership = 10000 language = leader title =… …   Wikipedia

  • Gordon Bell (American football) — Gordon Bell Gordon Bell from 1976 Michiganensian Position(s) RB/KR/PR Born December 25, 19 …   Wikipedia

  • Charles White (American football) — For other people named Charles White, see Charles White (disambiguation). Charles White Position(s) Running back Jersey #(s) 33 Born January 22, 1958 (1958 01 22) (age 53) Los Angeles, California …   Wikipedia

  • Doug Williams (American football) — Doug Williams Doug Williams at a fundraiser in 2008 No. 12, 17      Quarterback Personal information …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.