Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, a Houston Oilers receiver and returner known for his highlight-reel touchdowns and end zone celebrations, will be honored later this season by a team he didn't exactly play for.
The Oilers moved to Tennessee and became the Titans, and plenty of Houston fans have objected to the Titans holding onto that Houston legacy. The Titans will wear Oilers throwback uniforms on Sunday, and again for that December 17 game when Johnson will be honored.
Despite the objections of some in Houston, Johnson says he appreciates Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk, the daughter of the late Oilers and then Titans owner Bud Adams, for keeping the memories of the Oilers alive in Tennessee.
"I appreciate the organization recognizing me, and making me feel such a part of it," Johnson said. "A lot of the Oilers feel the same way. I think Amy has done a wonderful job of remembering the former players, the Oilers, and trying to keep them in touch and involved with the Titans organization. It makes me feel good that they respect the players who played there before the guys now. You feel welcome. Any time I call, they help me with anything I need. It's just a very welcoming situation. I know all teams aren't like that, but you feel welcome with the team, and you appreciate them extending that hand of friendship."
Among Johnson's many accomplishments, he was chosen as the punt returner on the NFL's All-Decade Team in both the 1970s and the 1980s.