Reported by Liku Zelleke
During the time he was playing for the Chicago Bears, William Perry was known as The Refrigerator – or The Fridge for short – mainly due to his imposing physique. His fans continued to follow him after he left the game and did a short stint in the entertainment industry; this popularity and loyalty made it certainly possible for him to earn millions of dollars.
But today, the NFL great who played from the 80’s to the 90’s, who was selected in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft and spent his football career with the Bears and the Philadelphia Eagles, finds himself in a financial crisis that is so bad that last year he had to auction off his 1985 Super Bowl XX Ring because he had found himself too deep in debt.
And yet things seem to be going from bad to worse as the former athlete who weighed in the vicinity on average of 300 pounds during his hey days, has now ballooned up to 450 pounds. The extra weight has had an adverse effect on his health which isn’t being helped with his self-admitted drinking problem.
On top of everything, Perry who also suffers from Guillain-Barre syndrome – an immune system disorder – seems intent on causing even more damage to his health.
According to reports, he refuses to wear his compression socks or his orthopedic shoes and won’t take any physical therapy – three things that could help with his ailments. This is despite his hands being numb and him having no feeling from his shins down.
He still continues to drink vodka by the bottle – so much so that he recently put himself in a stupor. A report suggested that the former lineman lived out of a Hummer that reeked of urine “because he sometimes can’t control his bladder, sometimes doesn’t care.”
But Perry’s not letting all this get him down and says he is doing fine. In an interview, he said, “I’m home. And I’m happy. I can’t say everything is peachy keen, but I’m still enjoying life. I love Chicago, but there’s no place like home… I’m my own man. It’s simple. I ain’t never trying to be famous. I never, ever try to be extravaganza. I’m just a plain old country boy!”
Well, that may be so, but his former coach doesn’t see Perry’s life in the same light. Ex-Bears coach Mike Ditka said, “It’s a great life wasted. There’s no reason it has to happen. A bad deal? No, he got a great deal! In life you gotta help yourself. It’s tragic. I think he’s given up. And the question in my mind is, Why?”