William Perry (American football)

William Perry (American football)

name=William Perry
|position=Defensive tackle
number=72, 90, 95
birthdate=Birth date and age|1962|12|16
Aiken, South Carolina
* Chicago Bears (1985-1993)
* Philadelphia Eagles (1993-1994)
* London Monarchs (1996)
stat3label=Offensive TDs
* 1x Super Bowl champion (XX)

William Perry (born December 16, 1962 in Aiken, South Carolina) is a former professional American football player and brother of former professional football player Michael Dean Perry. He is best known for his years as a defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears. In reference to his large size, he was popularly known as “The Refrigerator” or, abbreviated, “The Fridge”.

Athletic career

After a successful career at Aiken High School (South Carolina), Perry played college football at Clemson University. In 1985, he was selected in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears. Nicknamed “The Refrigerator” for his gargantuan, square-like frame, Perry was 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) and weighed 382 lbs (173.4 kg). at his peak weight. While he was not a superstar on paper (only 29.5 sacks through his entire career), he quickly became a favorite of the Chicago Bears fans.

Perry became famous for his prowess as a defensive lineman. In addition, Perry was used as a fullback when his team was near the opponents' goal line, either as a ball carrier or a lead blocker for running back Walter Payton. During his rookie season, Perry rushed for 2 touchdowns and caught a pass for one. Perry was once used in a surprise play during a Pro Bowl game as an offensive lineman.

Perry even had the opportunity to run the ball during Super Bowl XX, as a nod to his popularity and contributions to the team's success. The first time he got the ball, he was tackled for a one-yard loss while attempting to throw his first NFL pass on a halfback option play. But the second time he got the ball, he scored a touchdown; as a result, Walter Payton was denied an easy scoring opportunity.

Perry went on to play for ten years in the NFL. His Super Bowl ring size is the largest of any professional football player in the history of the event. His ring size is 25, while the ring size for the average adult male is between 10 and 12. [ Sports Illustrated for Kids, p.39, February 2007 ]

Perry retired after the 1994 season. In his 10 years as a pro, he played in 138 games, recording 29.5 sacks and 5 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 71 yards. Perry later attempted a comeback, playing the 1996 season with the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football (later NFL Europa).

Beyond football

After retiring from football, Perry was involved in a few other entertainment endeavors, including the following:
*In 2006, he participated in the Lingerie Bowl as the super sub.
*Perry participated in a World Wrestling Federation battle royal at "WrestleMania 2" in Rosemont, Illinois. In 2006, he returned to the Chicago area to be inducted into the "Celebrity Wing" of the WWE Hall of Fame by John Cena.
*In 2002 he lost in the third round to 7 ft 7 in (2.3 m) former NBA basketball player Manute Bol in a charity boxing match. Mr. Perry entered the match visibly above his NFL playing weight.
*The Fridge is one of several real people to be immortalized as a 3.75 inch (9.53 cm) "G.I. Joe" action figure in 1986.
*During his popular tenure with the Bears, Perry participated in the recording of two rap records, both in 1985, in addition to the team's very popular "Super Bowl Shuffle".
*Walter Payton and Perry recorded an anti-drug, pro-peace rap tune entitled "Together" which was written by four Evanston, Illinois teens. It was re-released in 1999 with part of the profits going to the Walter Payton Foundation.
*Popular rap trio The Fat Boys recorded a twelve-inch single titled "Chillin' with the Refrigerator" released on Sutra Records.
*A novelty hit, "Frig-O-Rator", was released in December 1985 on the Motown label by Roq-In' Zoo and featured sound bites of Bears game plays. The following year The Fridge was yet again remembered in a rap song, this time by the obscure Los Angeles-based hip-hop group Hard Machine who released the single "Refrigerator".
* In 2000, he was defeated by Bob Sapp in a toughman boxing competition on FX.
* In 2003, he appeared in Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest as a "celebrity contestant". He stopped eating 5 minutes into the competition.
* In 2003, he appeared in a TV movie by Comedy Central called Windy City Heat, where a man named Perry Caravello was made to believe he was acting in a major motion picture.
* He starred in a commercial in the 1980's with Jim McMahon, fellow Chicago Bears teammate for Coke Classic and Coke.
* Appears on the Chef Tony infomercial endorsing "My Rotisserie" in a number of acted scenes where he plays poker with his friends, whilst singing the praises of the kitchen appliance.
* He made a guest appearance in the 80's TV-show "The A-Team". In the 20th episode of the 4th season ('The Trouble with Harry') "Fridge" signs in to the same hospital The A-Team is using to help their friend Harry recover. Throughout the episode, Perry only has a few lines (including the funny: "They'll never catch him", referring to his NFL playing days), but he gives out 'Bears' caps in the final scene. B. A. Baracus and Hulk Hogan (who guest starred in the episode as well) react angrily when they don't get a cap, but the large sized Perry is able to calm them down with his huge smile.

Since retiring as a player he has founded his own construction company in his native South Carolina and made numerous public appearances.

Recently, he was named Director of Football Operations for the Continental Indoor Football League's Chicago Slaughter.

In June 2008, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome and is currently in recovery. [http://www.yumasun.com/sports/tatum_44249___article.html/perry_night.html]


*"Even when I was little, I was big."
*"I take the food out of the fridge, put it in my rotisserie, and put it back in 'The Fridge'."
*"I've got a full stomach, and a full house!"

See also

* Other people surnamed Perry


* "Chicago Sun-Times" article "Sweetness in the words of old duet with Fridge", Monday 8 November 1999, page 97.
* skinny Boys, "Chillin' with the Refrigerator", 12 inch single, Sutra SUD 040, 1985.
* Roq-In' Zoo, "Frig-O-Rator", 12 inch single, Motown 4554MG, December 1985.
* Hard Machine, "Refrigerator". 12 inch single, On The Spot NRS-112, 1986.


External links

* [http://www.yojoe.com/action/86/fridge.shtml The Fridge Action Figure]

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