William Perry attended Clemson University and in 1985 was a first round draft pick for the Chicago Bears. He gained his unique nickname due to his considerable size standing 6 ft 2 in tall and weighing as much as 370 lb., his stature quickly brought to mind notions of a walking refrigerator.
Perry became famous for his excellent work as a defensive lineman. In addition, Perry was also used at the fullback position 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 offensive lineman. Perry even had the opportunity to run the ball during Super Bowl XX, as a nod to his popularity and his contributions to the team's success. The first time he got the ball in the game he was tackled for a 1-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. Curiously, future Hall of Famer Payton was denied an opportunity to score a touchdown during the game. Many have questioned coach Mike Ditka's decision to give this play to Perry, believing that Payton should not have been denied the chance to score in the only Super Bowl appearance of his career. The Fridge, as Perry was affectionately called, went on to play for nine years in the NFL.
Perry retired after the 1994 season. In his 11 years as a pro, he played in 138 games, recording 29 sacks and 5 fumble recoveries, which he returned for 71 yards.