Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.
Green Bay buried by block of granite
Originally published Oct. 22, 1985
And now for this public-service announcement from the people who introduced the Ninth Wonder of the World to America last night:
The Bears would like everybody to know that William “The Refrigerator” Perry does not do weddings, bar mitzvahs or frog-eating contests.
At least not until he has blocked and rocked the unbeaten Bears to Super Bowl XX and beyond.
It’s not that Perry wouldn’t like to dive face-first into your daughter’s wedding cake. And don’t think he hasn’t dreamed about ripping the pig off the spit in the “Hawaii-Five-0″ luau scene. After all, this is a man who recently confessed to eating his breakfast cereal out of a mixing bowl.
It’s just that Admirable Perry still is trying to digest the game ball the Bears fed him after last night’s 23-7 victory over the Packers at the wonderstruck Thunderdome that was Soldier Field.
“I just want to help the team,” he said when the game was over.
Perry is the 314-pound Bear special teamer who leveled Green Bay return man Gary Ellerson on the opening kickoff.
Perry is the blocking back who made Packer linebacker George Cumby look more like Gumby on Walter Payton’s two first-half touchdown runs.
Perry is the rookie running back who rumbled one yard for a second-period touchdown of his own. Remarked a gentleman from Los Angeles: “I haven’t seen a drive like that since `Rawhide.’ ”
Perry also is the player who may have permanently altered the face of professional football last night. That’s mostly because Perry is supposed to be a defensive tackle.
Perry is a trend.
“There’s a good possibility we’ll continue to use him like this,” head coach Mike Ditka said. “At least until they put somebody bigger in there to plug the hole.”
But Perry pleaded: “I’d rather sack the quarterback than score a touchdown.”
When the Bears selected Perry in the first round of last spring’s NFL draft, scouts tittered throughout the league. “It’s a gamble,” Bear personnel director Bill Tobin admitted at the time. “But I’d rather have William Perry playing for me than playing against me.”
Last night the doubters found out why.
Credit the producers of “The David Letterman Show.” Bear public relations director Ken Valdiserri confirmed they called before the Packer game to request an appearance by Perry. The details are being worked out.
The Bears had provided a sneak preview of Perry the Runner in last week’s 26-10 victory over the defending Super Bowl champion 49ers in San Francisco. In that game, Perry carried twice for four yards in the waning moments.
After the game, 49er coach Bill Walsh said he didn’t think Perry had much of a future as a running back. San Francisco subsequently dropped to 3-4. Nobody would blame Perry if he said he didn’t think Walsh has much of a future as a coach.
But that wouldn’t be Perry’s style.
“No style,” said Perry when asked to describe his running form. “After I get the ball in the open field, I just head straight ahead.”
Consider this: The Bears are 44-22 in games in which Payton has rushed for more than 100 yards.
Consider this: The Bears are 2-0 in games in which Perry has rushed for more than one yard.
Consider this: Perry trails Payton, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, by only 13,828 yards.
And consider this: Call William Perry a mere football player and you are calling Moby Dick a mere minnow.
So stay tuned. The Bears are considering installing a set of passing plays designed to use Perry as a receiver.
“I think they have some in mind,” Perry confirmed.
The world waits.