You may have heard that noted big guy Eddie Lacy is, well, looking a lot less big. In March, the Packers running back was pictured with a dramatically slimmer frame than he had only months earlier. By his side stood Tony Horton, creator of the exercise training program P90X, enabler of the hopes and dreams of middle-aged America, and self-styled savior of the waistline, career, and happiness of Lacy, who devoted himself to the P90X gods — or to Horton, anyway — as the offseason began.
Which raises this question: Why is a millionaire with a team of trainers, doctors, and dieticians at his beck and call, plus access to the training facilities of a professional football franchise, doing a workout routine better known for its terrible memes and “As Seen on TV” DVDs?
The answer: He was called out on TMZ.
Lacy, who lost his starting job midway through a mediocre 2015 season, which saw him post career lows in rushing yards (758) and total touchdowns (five), was given strict orders by the Green Bay coaching staff as the year came to a close: Drop some weight. He capped his campaign by ripping off a 61-yard run in the NFC divisional round against the Cardinals that, while impressive, would have kind of, maybe, definitely been a touchdown for a faster player.
“Eddie Lacy, he’s got a lot of work to do,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters at the time. “I think I’m stating the obvious. … He has to get it done because he cannot play at the weight that he played at this year.”
Enter Horton, who was apparently badgered for comment by the empire of Harvey Levin, a man who it is not difficult to imagine doing burpees in his darkened living room at 4 a.m. In January, Horton issued an invitation to train Lacy from the midst of some sort of hybrid gym/kitchen/laundry room. (Is this in his house? Who installs a Super Thighmaster QR6000 DeluxXxe* in the same place he makes toast?)
*This is not a real fitness machine (I think).
“Ticktock,” Horton said. “Time is ticking. So it’s time for him to step up.”
Horton said they had an initial meeting before Super Bowl 50, and later Lacy went to live with Horton in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They spent the next two months together, Horton laboring over egg-white omelets.
The Packers, for what it’s worth, seem to have left Lacy to his own devices; Horton says they did not meddle with the magic of P90X. “I think the Packers’ opinion was, ‘Hey man, you’re an adult. It’s the offseason and we just hope you go out there and make good choices,’” Horton told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And they left it up to Eddie and I to get it done.”
The list of P90X celebrity devotees now includes Lacy, Jim Rome, Sheryl Crow, Mike Tyson, Brett Favre, Demi Moore, Ray Lewis, and Taylor Lautner. So, in other words: You know it works.