NBC is gearing up for the new season of The Biggest Loser – their popular extreme weight loss reality show – and this season will feature former athletes. Two of the athletes set to appear are former members of the Detroit Lions.
The one most likely to rile up emotions from Detroit Lions fans is former quarterback Scott Mitchell. Despite a statistically impressive 1995 season, Mitchell never lived up to the hype after the Lions gave him a big contract prior to the 1994 season. Mitchell was unceremoniously benched early in 1998 in favor of Charlie Batch.
From his contestant page on the NBC Biggest Loser website:
Scott Mitchell was a standout athlete growing up, excelling in football and setting the course for his impressive career in the NFL. He was born in Salt Lake City and grew up in Springville, Utah with three older sisters. After attending the University of Utah, Mitchell played 12 seasons in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Dolphins and backed up Hall of Famer Dan Marino. In 2010, Mitchell was inducted into the University of Utah Hall of Fame. His biggest motivation for going on the show was seeing his dad die of obesity-related causes early this year and knowing he could be headed down the same path if he doesn’t change his life. Now 46 years old and 366 pounds, Mitchell has sleep apnea and high blood pressure. Weight has been an issue since age 35 due to a busy life and poor diet. With five kids ranging in age from 11 to 21, he wants to be there for his family and is ready to embrace a healthy lifestyle. When he loses the weight, he says he wants to look amazing in clothes and be physically active.
While it would be easy to make jokes saying that Mitchell earned the title of “biggest loser” while a member of the Lions, it’s good to see him try to take control of his weight to regain a more normal lifestyle.
Mitchell isn’t the only former Lion set to appear on the show. He’ll be joined by Damien Woody.
Woody’s bio on the show’s site:
Damien Woody was an NFL football player for 12 years and a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots. He played for the Patriots from 1999-2003, the Detroit Lions from 2004-2007 and the New York Jets from 2007-2010. Woody was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, the middle child of three, and attended Boston College after high school. He says he’s been overweight for as long as he can remember, and though he weighed more than 300 pounds when he graduated from high school, his size was always an asset as a football player. Since retiring from football in 2010, less activity and the passing of his mother and grandfather in the past three years all contributed to additional weight gain. Now 36 years old, 388 pounds and married to his high school sweetheart, Woody struggles to keep up with his four daughters and three sons, ranging in age from two to 15. He came on the show to regain his health and sees it as an opportunity to compete not only against others, but also himself. He has lost friends he played with in the NFL far too young, and he doesn’t want to be another statistic and former NFL player gone too soon due to weight-related issues. Once he loses the weight, Woody looks forward to living a long healthy life with his wife and kids and also looks forward to clothes shopping at other places besides Big & Tall stores.
The new season of The Biggest Loser premiers on September 11 at 8 PM ET on NBC.