Monday, November 7, 2011

Custom college card of "The Fridge"

My newest 1955 All-American style custom card is of William Perry.

I'd had an action image of "The Refrigerator" in my files for a couple of years, but it was evidently scanned from a newspaper photo and had a very noticeable dot pattern throughout. If I'd had to, I could have ameliorated that distraction by applying a Gaussian blur filter to the image, but while I was surfing the 'net for information on Perry's football career, I stumbled upon the close-up portrait you see here.

It's unfortunate that Perry has his mouth guard in place in this photo, because it hides his perpetual gap-toothed grin.

In his ESPN article about Perry, Kevin Seifert referred to him as "America's mascot." Most Wisconsin fans had a love/hate relationship with the Fridge. We hated the fact that he was a Chicago Bear, but loved it when he was put in at fullback in short-yardage situations -- as long as it wasn't against the Packers.

But it WAS against the Packers in Perry's rookie season of 1985 that Bears coach Mike Ditka moved the Fridge off the defensive line and into the backfield on the Oct. 21 Monday Night Football game at Soldier Field. Lining up as a fullback inside the 5-yard line, Perry blew holes in the Green Bay goal line defense for Walter Payton to score two touchdowns. In the second quarter, with the ball on the 1-yard line, Perry took the ball from Jim McMahon and rumbled in for a score. With that play, his legend began.

Perry's offensive output is usually remembered as a bigger part of his legacy than it actually was. In regular season play over his 10-year NFL career, Perry had eight rushes for five yards, with two TDs, and had one pass reception, a 4-yard touchdown catch.

Once again, there was so much to say about Perry, but so little room on the back of my custom card. I can't recommend strongly enough that you read Seifert's article "The Fridge is broken" .

The William Perry card is the first Clemson card I've made in my updating of the 1955 All-American set; there were none in Topps original issue of 100 cards, either. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other "Climpson" players I'll add to my set, but you never know.  

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