October 26, 2023 – Former Oilers legend Billy “White Shoes” Johnson will be inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Honor in December.
Johnson, who will be the team’s ‘Legend of the Game’ at this Sunday’s game against the Falcons, will return to Nissan Stadium for the induction ceremony at the team’s game against the Houston Texans on Sunday, December 17, 2023.
The origins of the Oilers/Titans Ring of Honor started with a team Hall of Fame induction in 1999, the first year of the stadium, when seven initial members had their names displayed inside the seating bowl. Over the years, the organization added to the list of legends, with K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr., Elvin Bethea, George Blanda, Robert Brazile, Earl Campbell, Eddie George, Mike Holovak, Ken Houston, Bruce Matthews, Steve McNair, Warren Moon, Mike Munchak, Jim Norton and Frank Wycheck all being recognized in the past.
Last year, former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher, former Oilers head coach Bum Phillips and former Titans general manager Floyd Reese were all added to the team’s Ring of Honor.
During his 14-year NFL career (Houston Oilers, 1974-1980; Atlanta Falcons, 1982-87; Washington Redskins, 1988), Johnson was named to three Pro Bowls.
Johnson is regarded as one of the best returners in the history of the NFL, and he also posted some pretty good numbers as a receiver as well.
Johnson’s NFL career stats include 337 receptions for 4,211 yards and 25 touchdowns, 282 punt returns for 3,317 yards and six touchdowns, and 123 kickoff returns for 2,941 yards and two touchdowns.
Johnson, who announced one of the team’s draft picks at the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas, has traveled to Nashville a number of times for Oilers/Titans Alumni Weekend.
Johnson gives credit to controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk for making former Oilers like himself feel special years after their playing days, in another city.
“I appreciate the organization recognizing me, and making me feel such a part of it,” Johnson said recently. “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.”
In 1994, Johnson was selected as the punt returner on the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. He remains the only man selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Later, Johnson was named to the 100th Anniversary team as the punt returner.
He was named to the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade team, and to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team.