William Anthony Perry (born December 16, 1962) is a former American college and professional football player who was a defensive lineman in the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. Perry played college football for Clemson University, and was recognized as an All-American. He was selected in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft, and played professionally for the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL. In reference to his large size, he was popularly known as "The Refrigerator" or, abbreviated, "The Fridge".
Perry was born in Aiken, South Carolina. He has stated in an interview that "Even when I was little, I was big"; by the time he was 11 years old, he weighed 200 pounds.
Frequently ridiculed for his weight while growing up, Perry took advantage of his athleticism to silence his critics. He attended South Aiken High School and played as a 295-pound nose guard on the school's football team. During an exercise in which his coach instructed all of his fastest players to line up for a 100-yard dash, Perry joined the group of running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs and eventually was timed as the 6th fastest runner on the entire team. He could also execute 360-degree dunks on regulation basketball hoops and perform complicated dives into the swimming pool.
Perry's athletic performances earned him a full-ride scholarship to attended Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, where he played for coach Danny Ford's Clemson Tigers football team from 1981 to 1984. He won a national championship in 1981, and was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American as a junior in 1983. As a freshman in 1981, he earned his "refrigerator" nickname when a fellow player could barely squeeze into an elevator with Perry and their laundry which they were taking to be washed. The player, Ray Brown, said "Man, you're about as big as a refrigerator.
In 1985, he was selected in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears; he had been hand-picked by coach Mike Ditka, however defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan, who had a highly acrimonious relationship with Ditka, referred to Perry as a "wasted draft-pick". Perry soon became a pawn in the political power struggle between Ditka and Ryan.
Perry's "Refrigerator" nickname followed him into the NFL and he quickly became a favorite of the Chicago Bears fans. While Ryan refused to play Perry, Ditka decided to use used Perry as a fullback when the team was near the opponents' goal line or in 4th and short situations, either as a ball carrier or a lead blocker for star running back Walter Payton. Ditka stated the inspiration for using Perry as a fullback came to him during five-yard sprint exercises. 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. The second time he got the ball, he scored a touchdown. About halfway through his rookie season, Ryan finally began to play Perry, who soon proved that he was a capable defensive lineman.
He was tapped as a physical trainer for the Joes in 1986, the same year the Bears defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Perry went on to play for ten years in the NFL, retiring after the 1994 season. In his 10 years as a pro, he regularly struggled with his weight, which hampered his performance at times. He played in 138 games, recording 29.5 sacks and 5 fumblerecoveries, which he returned for a total of 71 yards. In his offensive career he ran 5 yards for 2 TDs. Perry later attempted a comeback, playing an unremarkable 1996 season with the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football (later NFL Europa).
After retiring from football, Perry was involved in a few other entertainment endeavors, including the following:
- In 2006, he began marketing his own branded barbecue sauce.
- 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 Template:Convert former NBA basketball player Manute Bol in a charity boxing match on the Fox Network's Celebrity Boxing program. Perry entered the match visibly above his NFL playing weight.
- The Fridge continues to act as a reserve trainer for G.I. Joe, often working with Sgt. Slaughter.
- 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. This was parodied in an episode of TV Funhouse from the November 11, 2006 episode of Saturday Night Live in which Takeru Kobayashi plays a hot dog eating superhero. After Kobayashi saves the day by eating a lot of hot dogs, a cartoon William Perry makes an appearance saying "Damn!" in Japanese.
- In 2003, he appeared in a TV movie on Comedy Central called Windy City Heat, opposite an aspiring actor named Perry Caravello, who is led to believe he is acting in a major motion picture.
- He starred in a commercial in the 1980s 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, while singing the praises of the kitchen appliance.
- He made a guest appearance in the '80s TV show The A-Team. In the 21st 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.
- He also made a short appearance in the opening of According to Jim (Season 8, Episode 15).
After he retired as a player, Perry founded his own small commodity hedge fund 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, a chronic inflammation disorder of the peripheral nerves. On April 22, 2009, Perry was hospitalized in South Carolina in serious condition from his Guillain-Barré syndrome. Perry spent approximately a month in the hospital before being released. At one point his weight fell to Template:Convert, before going back up to Template:Convert.Template:Citation needed
During Super Bowl XLIV, Perry joined other members of the 1985 Chicago Bears in resurrecting the Super Bowl Shuffle in a Boost Mobile commercial.
In June 2010, it was reported that Perry now suffered from hearing loss, but also that he was improving after his diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome. He had lost more than one hundred pounds (Template:Convert), but was, by this time, back up to Template:Convert.
In April 2011, Cliff Forrest, a 10 year-old child, discovered Perry's Super Bowl ring for sale. With help from his mother, he purchased it for $8,500 and returned the ring to Perry.
After his NFL career, The Fridge also does paid corporate appearances and autograph signings. His official website is www.Fridge72.com.
- Chicago Sun-Times article "Sweetness in the words of old duet with Fridge", Monday 8 November 1999, page 97.
- 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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Script error
- ↑ Sports Illustrated for Kids, p. 39, February 2007.
- ↑ http://www.thefridgebbqsauce.net/
- ↑ Fat Boys - Discography.
- ↑ Episode 15 Summary.
- ↑ Yumasun.com article.
- ↑ Fridge in serious condition.
- ↑ Unwronged.com link.
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ Tom Friend (6 February 2011). How 'The Fridge' lost his way. ESPN. Retrieved on 2011-02-07.
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ http://www.Fridge72.com
|This page uses content from Joepedia - The G.I. Joe Wiki. The original article was at The Fridge.|
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- WWE Hall of Fame Profile of William Perry
- The Fridge Action Figure
- William "The Refrigerator" Perry's Official Website
- YoJoe.com page
- NAME = Perry, William
- ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Perry, William Anthony; Perry, William A.
- SHORT DESCRIPTION = All-American college football player, professional football player, defensive lineman
- DATE OF BIRTH = December 16, 1962
- PLACE OF BIRTH = Aiken, South Carolina, United States
- Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
- Weight: 335 lb (152 kg)
One of two Joes based on Real Life People. The other is Sergeant Slaughter. There was another Joe, based on Rocky Balboa, but Rocky was totally Fictonal, while Slaughter was at least based on the Wrestler Sgt. Slaughter, even if it was only a stage name/persona.
|Grade / Rank|
Physical training instructor; Special services