Ten-Year-Old Boy Uses College Money To Buy “The Fridge’s” Super Bowl Ring . . And Returns It To The Ailing Bears Linebacker

For those of us who are lifelong Bears fans, there are few icons quite like William “The Refrigerator” Perry. It is well-known among Bears fans that Perry hit tough times financially and then was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. I saw this story on Reddit and was moved by the kindness shown to Perry by a Cliff Forest, 10, who saw that Perry’s Super Bowl XX ring was being sold. Realizing that Perry may have had to sell it, Forest used $8,500 from his college fund to buy the ring . . . and then tracked down Perry and gave it to him.

It turns out that Forest is not even a Bears fans. He is from California.

Forest found “The Fridge” at the Ace Hardware Spring Convention at McCormick Place signing autographs and presented the ring to him. Perry declined to explain what happened to the ring but was overwhelmed by young Forest’s act of kindness.

Well done, Cliff.

Source: Sun Times

33 thoughts on “Ten-Year-Old Boy Uses College Money To Buy “The Fridge’s” Super Bowl Ring . . And Returns It To The Ailing Bears Linebacker

  1. The Prof says, “Well done, Cliff.”

    I’d like to second that and add a “Well done, Cliff’s parents.”

    You’ve raised a good kid there.

  2. meh. The billionaire owners, the billionaire broadcasters, the billionaire sponsors don’t give two shits about Mr. Perry. The millionaire players and their association don’t give a shit either. The wanton destruction of lives continues apace. None of the problems of former players, famous like this Fridge or unknown like the thousands of disposable bodies the NFL burns through, are unknown or intractable.

    Those who profited most from Perry’s abilities will drop more on lunch today and earn 10 times that before the end of the first game should there be a season this year. My guess is the money he made while he worked would have easily prevented this event had he not been infantilized by sports enablers that allowed him to remain a perpetual adolescent and squander his income. Instead they sucker a decent kid into dumping money that should go to improving his own future into an empty past.

    While it is possible to admire what the kid did and he deserves respect and admiration for a selfless act it should be noted by the adults that he was suckered.

  3. Frank,

    I cannot disagree with that statement either. However, selfless acts do simply merit acknowledgement regardless of the root causes of the trouble the selfless act alleviates. No one has said the adults aren’t to blame for Perry’s situation as compounded by his illness. Just that the kid did a good act for no other reason than he could.

  4. This is a great story about a kid who did himself and as Buddha suggested, his parents proud. Perry has hit hard times and his medical issues compounded the problem. Great story!

  5. Just when you think all hope is gone, a ray of sunshine like this little boy breaks through.

    This is such a nice change from everything else in the news.

  6. Frank the NFL is but a microcosm of the corporate world. The use ’em and throw them out when they are broke method is no different for an 8 dollar an hour worker than for a million dollar footballer.

  7. BIL,

    Well said!



    Well said, as well.

    As I read your post, I thought of an article I read a couple of weeks ago that was written by the wife of a former football player. It was posted at truth-out.org but their site was vandalized last week and I’m unable to retrieve it. At any rate, her husband wasn’t one of the multi-millionaire players and she wrote of how the NFL sucks the players dry, tosses them to the side once they have outlived their usefulness and forgets all about them. It was a very interesting read and if truth-out.org gets their archives up and running again, I’ll try to find the article.

  8. This makes us realize that are best days are still in front of us.

    If you don’t mind”I’d like to third that and add a “Well done, Cliff’s parents.”

  9. I think kids like Cliff should be able to go to college. We need more people like him in our society as our future leaders – and we need them to be smart.

    What say we all pony-up a few bucks and replenish the kid’s college fund? He did a nice thing, and now we can, too.

    Can somebody smarter than me set something legitimate up to collect online donations? Would that be legal? It would certainly be fair. (No scammers here. Let’s do this right so Cliff actually gets the contributions.)

    I’m in for $10. 840 more readers and Cliff is made whole. And each one of us will feel like we’ve made a good thing a bit better.

  10. Cliff:

    your money would have been better spent on college tuition. The “Fridge” should have provided for his retirement years and made better financial decisions with his money.

    Your action was irresponsible if your parents could not afford the $8,500.00. They are raising you to be just as irresponsible as the “Fridge”.

    College is more important than some football players Superbowl ring, especially to a young person. Your parents are delusional to have let you do this, unless of course they are wealthy or have the means to pay for your education. My guess is they don’t and figured on someone else paying for your college. I am sure you are a good kid but I don’t want to pay for your college, I have 2 of my own children to pay for.

    I’ll bet if you made that money cutting the neighbor’s lawns you wouldn’t have been so eager to let it go.

    The time for charitable work is when you are older and able to afford it.

    Bottom line kid, that was stupid.

  11. Rick L:

    Why encourage the kid? The “Fridge” made some bad choices and is paying for it. That is life.

    But I would donate $10 bucks to your fund as it is a voluntary contribution.

    Good initiative on your part and a private sector solution to a bad situation. Which is how it used to be, your neighbor’s house burned down and you helped him rebuild it, no one forced you to. You did it because it was the right thing to do and because your neighbor would help you if your home burned down.

    Our current government has distorted our ancestors spirit of generosity and community. When people use private funds and initiative to solve a problem it gets solved.

  12. BelgianBrain,

    Lol – thanks for the link. Actually, a lot of what Chris Rock says makes waaaaaaaaaay too much sense.

  13. I’ll clip this posting and present it whenever I hear the tired old bromide about the ingratitude and laziness of today’s youth. I like this generation better than most of their “virtuous” and “industrious” predecessors. They seem smarter too.

  14. On the topic of William Perry (BTW I refuse to use the nickname that must cause him incredible grief now given his weight and attendant health problems)and the disposable athletes we use for sport, here’s an article detailing the sad — but not uncommon — existence of former jocks now suffering from the long term effects of their “passion.” We do well to recall that the average age of mortality of your average former NFL player is 54 years while the average American outlives him by a comfortable 20 more years. In addition, closed head injuries seem to be an epic problem. If ever an industry needed regulation on the grounds of safety, this is it. Likely we’ll need another Triangle Shirtwaste Factory fire case (circa 1911) to move the lawmakers, but it is inevitable.


  15. BelgianBrain 1, April 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Shaq is rich… the white man that signs his check is wealthy.

    Chris Rock making way too much sense: http://t.co/NuAWsKI
    hahahahahaha! those folks that own the color blue…hahahahahaha!

    now that’s funny….

  16. You must not be that well-informed of a Bears fan, professor, Perry was not a linebacker, he was a defensive tackle.

    Packers 31 Steelers 25

  17. Yes, the story is heartwarming, but there are a few facts your readers should know before they send a contribution to young Cliff’s college fund. Cliff is Cliff Forrest (two r’s, not Forest), Jr., and he’s not from California. He’s from Pittsburgh, PA, where his father, Cliff Forrest Sr., is the owner of Rosebud Mining Company, which operates 26 coal mines in Ohio and Pennsylvania. (This information reported in the Sun Times http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/4634086-419/the-fridge-stunned-to-get-super-bowl-ring-back.html and ESPN Chicago: http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/news/story?id=6290024)

    I haven’t sniffed out Rosebud’s financials, but one can safely assume a man who owns 26 coal mines is pretty wealthy. This detracts very little from 10-year-old Cliff Jr.’s generosity. The fact that he’s got his own savings fund indicates his parents are raising him to manage money responsibly, and nothing compels a boy to give money away, even if he knows there’s more coming to him. But I don’t think his mother would have let him spend $8500 to recover a sentimental treasure for a down-at-the-heels ex-football player if it placed his future college education in any real jeopardy.

    So what we have here is a well-to-do family making a really nice gesture, and that is still praiseworthy, but – alas – not quite the same as if a poor or middle-income kid had done it.

  18. Catullus:

    Right your are. Perry was what we call a “0 technique” in that Bear 46 Defense. He also did a stint at running back on the goal line team on offense.



  19. Blouise:

    I am paying the price for my trip with a bountiful litigation schedule. Will check in when I can.

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