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The Sad Story Of William 'The Refrigerator' Perry

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Micheal Dean Perry was somewhat of a legend for the Cleveland Browns, at least during his time in Cleveland. That burger at McDonald's was delicious, and Perry had a knack for getting to opposing quarterbacks. He was never as famous as his brother, however, William Perry - better known as Fridge. The Fridge was an icon, especially after scoring a touchdown in Super Bowl XX. Everywhere you looked, The Fridge was there.

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Now, 25 years after the Super Bowl Shuffle, William Perry is a broken man battling his demons. Tom Friend of ESPN chronicles Perry's battle with weight, alcohol and a myriad of health concerns. He talks about Michael Dean's attempts to care for his brother only to see William fall back to his old ways, his old habits.

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Perry doesn't believe he's putting himself in jeopardy, though. He looks in the mirror and he sees a body that now weighs 400 pounds. That's better than 190, he says. That's progress, he says. He still does occasional autograph signings in Chicago, making a bit of cash here and there. He says he can't be in too bad of shape if he can climb onto a plane and write his name 100 times. He says he can't be too bad off if he can still recite lyrics to the "Super Bowl Shuffle." He says he can't be too sick if he's down to only one or two beers a night.

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It's a sad story, but one worth reading. There are plenty of former NFL players heading down a similar path, with no one to stop them from killing themselves. When a public adores you, then ends up ignoring you, what does that do to a person?

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.