Billy "White Shoes" Johnson

In 1988, when former Houston Oiler Billy “White Shoes” Johnson ended his fourteen-year NFL career, he was the league’s all-time leading punt returner and one of only seven men to have returned four kicks for touchdowns in a single season. But despite all the juking and jetting that earned him a spot on the league’s Seventy-Fifth Anniversary All-Time Team in 1995, his truly revolutionary moves came after he scored. That’s when he’d break into a variation of the Funky Chicken that came to be known as the White Shoes Shuffle; for better or worse, he invented the end zone dance. Since retiring, the 49-year-old has concentrated on another talent that had occasionally gotten lost in the Shuffle: taking care of people. For four years he coached and taught in Atlanta, including a stint at Morehouse College. In 1992 he became the coordinator of player programs for the Atlanta Falcons, which makes him responsible for things like helping the team’s players finish school and find post-NFL jobs. He also counsels them on how to comport themselves on the field. “You’ll get a player who makes a catch that has no bearing on the game doing all kinds of gyrations,” he says. “I tell them, ‘You have to act like you belong here.’”

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