Blair River was a big man. The spokesman for the ubiquitous Heart Attack Grill, a restaurant known for serving extremely unhealthy food in jumbo portions, died on March 1 at the age of 29. The cause of his death was not released, but friends speculated that he contracted pneumonia after a battle with the flu.
Heart Attack Grill is known for its theatrical presentations and enormous portion sizes of some of the most unhealthy foods around. When customers enter the building, they are weighed, given a hospital gown and served by waitresses dressed as nurses.
Rogers had previously auditioned for The Biggest Loser and had not been selected. He used this denial to influence his future at Heart Attack Grill, and the restaurant staff got to know him as a customer before he was the spokesperson.
Restaurant founder Jon Basso counts his death as an enormous loss to the company. “Cynical people might think this (River’s death) is funny,” Basso said. “But people who knew him are crying their eyes out. There is a lot of mourning going on around here. You couldn’t have found a better person.”
River lived in Arizona and worked as a financial adviser at the University of Phoenix. He’d been a state heavyweight wrestling champion in 1999 and played football at Mesa Community College. He was known as the creative genius behind many of the most successful promotions at the restaurant.