The Fridge is in the hospital. According to news reports, William “the Refrigerator” Perry, former Chicago Bear and famed Super Bowl Shuffler, is being treated for the effects of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. He’s expected to recover and I wish him the best. I’m especially fond of Fridge because he gave me one of my most memorable interviews. It was memorable not so much because of anything he said, but because it required me calling him on the phone at his home in the middle of the night.
I was working on a story for GQ about the 1985 Chicago Bears, and Fridge was one of the Bears I had to get. After a couple tries, I was able to reach him by phone at his house in South Carolina, but he told me he couldn’t talk right then and suggested I call him back at 5 the next morning. I didn’t ask him why he wanted me to call at 5 in the morning, I just agreed to make the call. Only later did I realize that 5 o’clock Fridge time was 4 a.m. my time. So I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m., to give myself enough time to wake up and muster the courage to call this very large professional athlete’s home phone number before the sun had risen.
The call went fine. His wife answered. It was obvious that I’d woken her. She put the Fridge on. It was obvious that I’d woken him. But he said he was ready to do the interview. So we did. We talked for about a half-hour, he gave me some good stuff for the story, and when we finished I thanked him for talking with me. But I never did ask him why he'd wanted to talk at 5 in the morning.
Not that I’m complaining. I’m not here to start no trouble. I’m just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle.
Get well, Fridge.