Gould Headshot squareIn 1984, a life-sized poster of William Perry adorned a Refrigerator-sized section of wall in the Chicago Sun-Times sports department. Sent out by the Clemson athletic department, it touted the 6-2, 350-pound Perry for post-season awards.

To this day, I regret not slipping into the office in the middle of the night and absconding with it.

That was even more true when the Bears drafted Perry—a sweet, gentle giant and great football player—and I got to know him a bit. I still have a New Yorker cartoon that shows a kid turning up his nose at a plate of food while his mom says, “I read that the Refrigerator eats tons of ratatouille.’’

I had the Fridge sign it, “Right on! William Perry.’’

Before helping the Bears win Super Bowl XX, Perry played on Clemson’s 1981 national championship team, the Tigers’ only title.

Which is a long way of saying that, until last fall, the last time I thought much about Clemson football was when the Fridge was capturing Chicago’s hearts.

Thanks to Dabo Swinney, we now have to think about Clemson for two years in a row. The squad Swinney has put together is very capable of improving on last year’s runner-up finish, when it was outlasted 45-40 by Alabama in a wild national championship game in Glendale, Ariz.  The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.