The Super Bowl XX ring of former Bears lineman William Perry, who has battled a series of health issues since his football career ended, is being auctioned this week as part of the annual National Sports Collectors Convention at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
The size 25 ring is listed online by Live Auctioneers with the following description:
Here’s the proof, the largest NFL Championship ring ever produced, estimated at a size twenty-five, though no measuring tool large enough to confirm this figure exists. While it is widely known in the hobby that the ring was rather widely reproduced due to its crowd-pleasing absurdity, we can confirm definitively that this is the one and only original presented to Perry for his part in shuffling to Super Bowl XX victory along with Walter Payton, Jim McMahon and Mike Singletary. The face of the ring is awash in genuine diamonds which allow just a hint of the navy blue stone beneath to peek through. Raised text at the perimeter trumpets the achievement: 1985 Chicago Bears World Champions. Left shank announces Perry above a figural helmet and text reporting, 16-1, GSH, Attitude. Right shank reports the lopsided score, Bears 46 Patriots 10 above the logos of Super Bowl XX and the NFC, and a figural Lombardi Trophy. Interior band is free of any stamping, a key factor in determining originality as Josten’s workers have confirmed that the massive size forced the sacrifice of their standard maker’s mark. Our jewelry department confirms, however, that the construction is ten karat (10k) gold. The ring will be accompanied by a letter of provenance from Perry himself, and a photograph of Perry holding both that letter and the ring itself. Letter of provenance from William Refrigerator Perry.
“The Fridge” became a household name in Chicago after barreling into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run in the Super Bowl. In all, he spent nine years with the Bears after being selected in the first round of the 1985 draft.
Perry has been beset by health problems in recent years. He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, his weight reached 400 pounds and he suffered from alcoholism. Last year the Charlotte Observer reported Perry was on the brink of losing his home and owed $26,000 in back taxes.
The starting bid on Perry’s ring is $16,000, and it’s expected to fetch anywhere between that number and $1 million.
Here’s a look at both sides of the ring: