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B.J. “The Freezer” Raji Mic’d Up

January 20, 2011

The 1985 Chicago Bears featured 6-foot-2, 335-pound William “The Fridge” Perry. The Fridge was a defensive lineman who honeymooned on offense, paving the way as a lead blocker for the great Walter Payton. The Green Bay Packers are still searching for their Walter Payton, but they may have found their version of The Fridge.

In Saturday’s 48-21 victory over the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons, the Packers’ offense introduced a new wrinkle. With just over six minutes remaining in the second quarter and the Packers down by a touchdown, defensive lineman B.J. Raji entered the game as an extra fullback. The 6-foot-2, 337-pound lineman blasted his defender into the endzone as halfback John Kuhn powered his way in for the game-tying score.

On the sideline after the play, a member of the Packers staff joked with Raji and likened him to The Fridge. Raji responded with a smile and said, “I’m the freezer.”

That, my friends, is how nicknames are born. As long as the second-year player out of Boston College continues to punish defenders as a fullback, the moniker of B.J. “The Freezer” Raji will continue to gain traction.

Raji was mic’d up for Saturday’s playoff game, and a recap of the entire evening can be found over at NFL.com’s Sound FX. The video juxtaposes Green Bay’s Raji with Atlanta’s head coach Mike Smith as both men experience the highs and lows of playoff football.

B.J. Raji still has a lot to learn about the offensive side of the ball, but his blocking skills were stellar in his initial action. And B.J. “The Freezer” Raji has yet to be a ball carrier, whereas William “The Fridge” Perry scored three touchdowns in the 1985 season.

The Fridge and his Chicago Bears danced their way into the history books with a win in Super Bowl XX, and even though The Freezer is getting a later start than his predecessor, the Packers are hoping for similar results. Fittingly, it’s the Chicago Bears that stand in the way of the 2010 Packers and a Super Bowl berth. The 182nd meeting of these two franchises promises to be as good — and as big — as all others before it.

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