NFL players and professional athletes in general are often viewed as the epitome of physical perfection. The upcoming season of NBC's The Biggest Loser will prove that even football stars have their struggles.
According to The Biggest Loser's official website, 20 former athletes will compete on the weight-loss show beginning on Sept. 11 in an effort to get back in elite shape.
Among those who will take part is former Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Scott Mitchell. Per Mitchell's The Biggest Loser profile, the 11-year veteran has ballooned to a shockingly high weight since the end of his career in 2001.
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.
The entire cast for Season 16 can be seen in this tweet courtesy of The Biggest Loser:
A preview video was also released showing the trials and tribulations that these athletes face and will have to overcome in order to reach their desired goals:
In addition to Mitchell, former New England Patriots, Detroit Lions and New York Jets offensive lineman Damien Woody will also be featured on the show. Since offensive linemen are large in general, though, much of the attention is being paid to Mitchell.
His inclusion has sparked plenty of reaction across social media. Many are shocked by the fact that Mitchell gained so much weight over the years. Chris Littman of Sporting News compared Mitchell to famously hefty signal-caller Jared Lorenzen:
Meanwhile, Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated is excited that Mitchell will be part of The Biggest Loser:
Although it is unfortunate that Mitchell has allowed himself to get to this point, it goes to show that NFL players can be quite relatable to the common public.
A large portion of the United States has been impacted by weight issues at one time or another. Seeing someone like Mitchell who used to be a top-level athlete and starting quarterback in the NFL allows people to understand that anyone could conceivably share in their struggles.
If Mitchell is able to succeed and get back into shape on The Biggest Loser, then it could quite possibly inspire others to do the same.
Mitchell was labeled as somewhat of an underachiever over the course of his career, as he never seemed to reach his full potential. He did top 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns while leading the Lions to the playoffs in 1995, but the bulk of his time in the NFL was disappointing.
Thriving on The Biggest Loser can help Mitchell ditch that label and make people view him in an entirely different light. If he can do that, then he will turn around a perception that has followed him for many years.
Mitchell has a big responsibility to thrive on this show whether he knows it or not, so hopefully his tenure on The Biggest Loser mirrors his on-field performance in 1995 much more closely than the rest of his career.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter