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Old 12-03-2005   #1
Corrosion
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Default Mathis gets a pair of White Shoes for Christmas

For those of us OLD enough to remember him playing for the Oilers . There is no doubt that there will be comparisons made between Billy "White Shoes" Johnson and Jerome Mathis. Both are electrifying in the return game and Johnson was the first to introduce "Celebrations" to the touch down with his funky chicken dance after he scored .... Nice Story in todays Houston Chronicle

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/3500032.html

Lets hope we get to see Mathis dance many more times in his Texans Career
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Old 12-03-2005   #2
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http://www.houstonprofootball.com/team/pr.html

good article on Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.


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Old 12-03-2005   #3
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I concur. Makes me a lil teary eyed for the good ol days of luv ya blue!
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Old 12-03-2005   #4
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thats cool .......hey does anyone here know why or where all of the 90 - 93 oilers went after houston left i never hear dof any of them like ernest givens, ray childress, haywood jefferies, lorenzo white, i dont ever remember seeing any of them playing for another team .maybe i was asleep lol
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Old 12-03-2005   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrosion
For those of us OLD enough to remember him playing for the Oilers . There is no doubt that there will be comparisons made between Billy "White Shoes" Johnson and Jerome Mathis. Both are electrifying in the return game and Johnson was the first to introduce "Celebrations" to the touch down with his funky chicken dance after he scored ....
I don't fully understand why these two are being compared. I guess it's because Houston hasn't been home to a "dangerous return man" (in general) like Mathis since White Shoes.

But these are very different players, physically and in the way they play the game. The only similarity right now in terms of performance is that both players have two career kickoff returns for TDs - White Shoes had two in 14 years and Jerome has two in 7 games.

White Shoes did most of his damage on punt returns (6 career returns for TD) and over 80% of that damage was done in two seasons with the Oilers ('75 and '77). Jerome has three punt returns in his career for 28 yards and no touchdowns. But he's shown potential to be as dangerous there as he is on kickoffs.

White Shoes gained his legendary status as much for the funky chicken as he did getting into the endzone. Mathis isn't a showboat, at least not yet. It was former Coog and Chiefs player Elmo Wright that started the endzone celebration thing with his high step jog in place dance btw.

White Shoes had very respectable numbers as a receiver here and in Atlanta - over 300 career catches for over 4200 yards and 25 TDs. Mathis has shown signs that he could have a promising career as a receiver - but that's all still ahead of him.

White Shoes had a little bit of a fumbling problem. The year he returned 4 kicks for TDs, he also had 5 fumbles.

White Shoes was 5'9" 170 in his playing days (and I think that's being generous) - he was slight of build - yes, players didn't work in the weight room as much back in those days -- and was essentially a faster version of JJ Moses - he had good breakaway speed but he relied heavily on jitterbug. Jerome is 5'11" 190 and is built like a world class track star - and runs like it.

One similarity I see in these two is the reaction they are getting from fans and media as dangerous return men (in general) or as corrosion put it, "electrifying in the return game." I agree with that general assessment but aside from that and the fact that neither went to a D-I school, that's where most of the similarites end.

It's very cool though for Billy to send Jerome the shoes. I'm sure that's something he'll always remember.

Last edited by aj.; 12-03-2005 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 12-03-2005   #6
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I grew up in the 70's playing two hand touch on the wide concrete streets of Vegas. Anyone who scored a TD was doing the chicken dance. Moreover, it just fell good to hear Howard Cosell say Billy White Shoes Johnson during Monday Night Highlights.

What I liked about Mathis is that everyone gets it about the the kid. I have brought people to games that don't know football or our team, but they recognize something special when that kid gets his hands on the ball.
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Old 12-03-2005   #7
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Good story. I have to throw in that Johnson didn't invent the end zone dance though. Elmo Wright I believe holds that honor.

Also, in his day Carl Roaches was what I would call a "dangerous return man". Not so dangerous as Johnson but you had to account for what he could do to you. He made it to the Pro Bowl in 1981 and I know he didn't get there because of his receiving skills. The man only caught 4 passes in a six year career.
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Old 12-03-2005   #8
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"White shoes" was just fun to watch. He had an electrifying manner about him that the fans and media just loved. I think Jerome might have that spark. It will be fun to watch. A very nice thing for Billy to do for a young player. They need all the encouragement they can get. They sure as heck won't get it from the NFL!
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