ESPN Mourns The Loss of Longtime NFL Reporter Chris Mortensen at 72

Photo: Instagram/Chris Mortensen

On Sunday, ESPN shared the heartbreaking news of the passing of Chris Mortensen, the esteemed NFL reporter who retired last April at the age of 72. 

Mortensen, an award-winning football journalist, concluded his illustrious 33-year career with ESPN after covering his final NFL draft.

ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro expressed deep sorrow, describing Mortensen as an industry pioneer and a beloved teammate. Pitaro stated, "He covered the NFL with extraordinary skill and passion, and was at the top of his field for decades. He will truly be missed by colleagues and fans, and our hearts and thoughts are with his loved ones."

Photo: Instagram/Chris Mortensen

Mortensen, known for his exceptional reporting on ESPN's major NFL broadcast shows and the "SportsCenter" segment "Inside the Huddle," faced a battle with esophageal cancer for several years. In September, he shared on X that he had chosen to prioritize his health, family, and faith, leading to his retirement.

Reflecting on his departure, Mortensen conveyed gratitude and humility, emphasizing that it wasn't a traditional retirement. Despite stepping back from his role, he assured fans that he would continue discussing football, concluding with a heartfelt, "God Bless you all."

Before his iconic tenure with ESPN, Mortensen covered the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Falcons, and the NFL for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His exemplary reporting earned him a George Polk Award in 1987. Following this, he contributed to The National Sports Daily, eventually joining ESPN in 1991.

In addition to his broadcasting achievements, Mortensen authored the book "Playing for Keeps: How One Man Kept the Mob from Sinking Its Hooks into Pro Football" in 1991.

Chris Mortensen is survived by his wife, Micki Mortensen, and his son, Alex Mortensen, a football coach and former professional quarterback. The sports community mourns the loss of a true legend whose impact on NFL reporting will be remembered for generations. (Source: NBC NEWS)

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