Thursday's Birthday Shout-Out: Billy Johnson and His White Shoes

If you were to say Devin Hester's name to a group of NFL punters while standing on the set of a old-timey Western, chances are one of them would throw you off the breakaway balcony. There's little doubt that Chicago's punt return specialist has caused fear and loathing amongst opposition special teams. It's also spawned a debate over who the greatest return men of all-time are.

Yet through all the Hesters, Dante Halls, Josh Cribbses and Brian Mitchells, one name is generally forgotten in the discussion. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.

Combining the skills of a Dante Hall with the showmanship of a Chad Johnson Ochocinco Johnson, White Shoes was one of the great characters of the NFL in an era that spawned a ton of them.

My lasting memory of Johnson will be the Hail Mary he caught to be the 49ers in 1983 while playing for the Atlanta Falcons. If only I could take Ed Hochuli back in time to over-officiate it into not being a game-winning touchdown.

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