Behind the Scenes
'The Biggest Loser' Weighs In With and Against the NFL

'The Biggest Loser' Weighs In With and Against the NFL

Scott Mitchell was a quarterback for the Detroit Lions in the mid-1990s. Mitchell will be one of several former athletes featured this season on "The Biggest Loser," which premieres Thursday. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Allsport, Getty Images.)

With the National Football League season well under way, Season 16 of "The Biggest Loser" kicks off Thursday night on NBC featuring former NFL players and other athletes. The season is titled, aptly enough, "Glory Days."

I'm not sure moving "The Biggest Loser" to Thursday nights opposite NFL games was the wisest decision in the world. Even if it's bad football involving bad teams, people still will watch the NFL, so "The Biggest Loser" may have to be benched to the DVR this season. (NBC won't mind losing the ratings war too much, because don't forget, there's Sunday Night Football on NBC!)

It's no surprise when NFL players battle their weight after their careers. Damien Woody was an offensive lineman for three teams and often weighed over 300 pounds. Now an analyst for ESPN, Woody topped the scales for "The Biggest Loser" at 388 pounds. And he's only 36.

The biggest surprise for me on this season's show is former quarterback Scott Mitchell, who weighs in at 366 pounds. You don't often see quarterbacks letting themselves go after their careers, but Mitchell has. Mitchell once mocked his head coach, Wayne Fontes of the Detroit Lions, by dressing as him for a Halloween party, complete with Mickey Mouse ears, a cigar and a stuffed sweatshirt. Mitchell doesn't need the extra stuffing anymore.

The Detroit Free Press caught up with the 46-year-old Mitchell in today's edition. Another former NFL quarterback who has gained a ton of weight, Jared Lorenzen, was recently profiled by ESPN.com. Lorenzen, a former star at the University of Kentucky, is not on "The Biggest Loser," but this is a must-read, if only for Tommy Tomlinson's great opening line: "Jared Lorenzen and I are in love with the same woman. Her name is Little Debbie."

One other former athlete to look for in this season of "The Biggest Loser" is tennis star Zina Garrison, who once was a Wimbledon finalist. When you see her on the screen, you're going to say, "That's Zina Garrison?" Now a tennis coach in the Washington, DC, area, Garrison is now 50 years old and weighs 263 pounds.

Once again, Planet Fitness will be prominently featured during the show. I'll bet you may even see some Planet Fitness commercials, too. But since you'll likely be watching the show on your DVR, you'll have the choice to fast-forward through them.

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