Tag Archives: greatest endzone dances of all time

Woods, Elbert “Ickey”

flr90 woodsap90 woods

ap91 woodspset89 woodsCards: Action Packed 1990, Action Packed 1991, Score Supplemental 1989, ProSet 1989, Fleer 1990.
Acquired: TTM 2012, C/o The Jovante Woods Foundation
Sent: 9/7      Received: 12/17      (102 days)*
*Donation required

So Ickey Woods was one of these indelible characters from the late 1980’s with a great personality, a good smile, and a wonderful post touchdown dance. Well you needed one back then if you were going to make a name for yourself during that era of the NFL right? Well the ‘Ickey Shuffle’ set the world on fire, and Woods became probably one of the league’s most popular players almost instantaneously with his almost bumbling bear dance.

Ickey played at UNLV, and was selected in the second round of the 1988 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. His rookie season was nothing short of spectacular. He ran for 1066 yards on 203 carries, scored a whopping 15 touchdowns, and led the league with 5.3 yards per carry from the fullback position. Woods lost out to John Stephens of New England for Rookie of the Year Honors, probably because of the fact that the Bengals had a much better supporting cast  of Esiason, McGee, Holman, and Brown. It appeared that he was off to his same routine going into 1989, but during the second game of the season, Ickey critically blew out his left knee tearing his ACL.

sco89 woodsFor a bit there, it was thought that Ickey might never do the shuffle again. In those days, the surgery and the rehab time took a lot longer and was much riskier. Back then an ACL injury usually meant a certain ending to a player’s career. Ickey made a tremendous comeback however. He missed 14 games of the 1989 season but rebounded to return for 1990 and scored in his first game back against the Browns. The Bengals were content with using Ickey as a short yardage bam-back and he played 10 games that season, but the knee just kept flaming up. He returned for 1991 but by now the backfield was getting crowded with James Brooks and Harold Green back there. Still Woods managed to start 2 games. He’d retire in 1992 with new head coach David Shula taking the reins from Sam Wyche. Ickey’s Frankenstein zipper knees just kept him out of the lineup too much to allow him to keep playing and teams were staying away. He attempted to make a comeback with Jack Pardee and the Birmingham Barracudas of the CFL USA in 1995, but was unable to re-energize his career and finally retired.

Woods hit rock bottom for a while there, but found a home selling Pre-Paid Legal. Then he became a coach and owner of the Cincinnati Sizzle, a women’s professional football team. His son Javonte also tragically passed away a few years ago after a sudden asthma attack. In his honor Ickey set up a charity  for him that the proceeds of his autograph signings go to. Woods in the meantime remains an extremely popular alumni of the Cincinnati Bengals organization.

G/GP  37/20   Rush  332   Yds 1525   Avg 4.6      Td  27    Lg 56    |
 Rec 47    Yds 397   Avg 8.4   Td 0   Lg 25

The Ickey shuffle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f-m-Fmd1lY


Johnson, Billy “White Shoes”


udlg97 ws johnson udlg97 ws johnson BCard: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: 11/23/2012, Fiterman Autograph Event
Failure: 2010, C/o Home

Billy Johnson, played for tiny Widener college in Pennsylvania. Going unnoticed- despite his white shoes and penchant for big plays, numbers, and great speed, the Oilers said, “Why not?”, and drafted White Shoes in the 15th round of the 1974 draft. There the fan favorite Johnson lit the NFL on fire with his breathtaking speed at returner and his entertaining end zone celebration called ‘The Funky Chicken’. (Johnson’s dance, is still celebrated today as one of the first, and was the Granddaddy to such dances as: Ernest Givins‘ “Electric Slide”, Ickey Woods‘ “Ickey Shuffle”, and Jamaal Anderson’s “Dirty Bird”.)  White Shoes played during the heyday of the Luv’ Ya Blu era in Houston, alongside Dan Pastorini, Ken Burrough, and Earl Campbell. He set an NFL record in 1975 by returning 3 punts for touchdowns in a single season. Not to be outdone that year, he also had a kick return as well, earning him AP honors and the Pro Bowl MVP after the season. White Shoes continued to set the standard for electrifying play throughout the 70s and the crowd always held their breath with excitement when he took the field. He again won AP honors topping his 15.3 YPR average from ’75 with a 15.4 YPR average in 77, with 539 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a kick returner he was also equally amazing, scoring another touchdown there as well.  A catastrophic knee injury wrecked his 1978 and 79 seasons. After a final season in Houston in 1980, White Shoes travelled north to the CFL for a year doing everything for the Montreal Alouettes.

The Falcons gave him a shot in 1983, and Johnson not only made the roster of the team, he had also matured as a receiver. Although he only started one game that season, Billy had 709 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns, (both career highs,) and was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year. In ’83 he scored another touchdown on a punt return, and was named AP and back to the Pro Bowl again for a 3rd time. He posted career highs again in 1984 in receiving with 830 yards and 5 touchdowns. Playing one final season in Atlanta, White Shoes went on to Washington and retired after the 1987 season. He’s been named to the NFL 75th Anniversary team and also the All-Decade Team of the 1980s.

It took me some time to get my autographs back from the Fiterman event but I finally did get my cards back some 3 weeks after the event. The company did apologize and adjusted their time-frame for delivery expectations for TTM on their website. I like to have my cards autographed on the front, but based on the report from Fiterman, White Shoes apparently refused to do so because he was not wearing white shoes on the front of this card. Still I am happy to knock out an elusive signer, after a previous attempt and failure.

G  143       PR 282         Yds 3317            Avg  11.8           Td 6         Lg 87t
Kr 123       Yds 2941          Avg 23.9         Td 2          Lg 81t
Rec  337       Yds 4211     Avg 12.5          Td 25       Lg  71t
Rush 56        Yds 316       Avg 5.6             Td 2         Lg 61

Highlight reel of Johnson and.. the Funky Chicken: