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William “Refrigerator” Perry and the sad tale of a Super Bowl ring

Whenever I hear of a famous athlete selling his memorabilia, it makes me sad. Not sad that a well-known ex-jock should be above any of the problems that beset other people walking this earth, but sad that his downfall has to be so public. Most of us struggle quietly.

The Super Bowl ring of William “Refrigerator’’ Perry, that roly-poly football player of fun for the 1985 Bears, sold for $203,000 at an auction Thursday. I have no idea how much, if any, Perry gets of that. The ring first was auctioned off for $27,000 in 2007. In 2010, a 10-year-old boy, with the help of his family, purchased it for $8,500 and returned it to Perry. Some experts have said that ring is a replica.

The Fridge has had well-documented physical and personal problems the past seven years. “Well-documented’’ is what you get when you’re famous or used to be famous. When you put your World Series ring or Heisman Trophy up for auction, it’s not because you decided the basement needed a thorough cleaning. It’s because you need cash in the worst way. And now everyone with a smart phone knows it.

We raise our sports heroes high. It’s hard to watch when they auction off their pedestals.