No, I didn’t forget to talk about one of the biggest sporting events of the year… But you know me, and it has to be more than just the latest and greatest. In fact, while watching the all-day coverage leading up to the 2011 NFL Super Bowl, I was struck by one of the stories covered.
It was nostalgic to see William “Refrigerator” Perry getting some TV time. I’d wondered what happened to him and often times, now with the prevalent Internet, to find out something all you have to do is type a person’s name to find out if he or she is still dead or alive… Well, the Refrigerator was, indeed, still alive.
During the 1980’s, Perry was a household name as he invaded your television commercials and dominated the field for the Chicago Bears with his mammoth size. But this recent story didn’t necessarily leave me with the greatest of tastes in my mouth. In front of me (on the TV, of course) was a shell of a man. He was as cheerful and loveable as ever, but the years weren’t too kind to him.
We discovered that the now close to 400-pound Refrigerator suffered from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disorder triggered when a person’s immune system attacks their peripheral nervous system. Ouch, right? Imagine seeing this bigger-than-life weapon reduced to this robotic, stiff, and struggling man. The details are many, but a college-acquired habit of drinking alcohol is one of the chief opponents for this disease, and obviously for him now, too. And while Perry kicked the habit, after falling to a scary weight of 190 pounds and time in physical rehab, he says he only drinks one or two now… In his words, “no big deal”. I couldn’t help but walk away from the story thinking of how big a deal it really was.