ESPN Esteemed NFL Reporter Chris Mortensen Passes Away at 72

ESPN Mourns Loss of Veteran NFL Analyst Mortensen.

by Nouman Rasool
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ESPN Esteemed NFL Reporter Chris Mortensen Passes Away at 72
© Kevin C. Cox/AAF/Getty Images

In a somber announcement this Sunday, ESPN revealed the passing of Chris Mortensen, a revered figure in the realm of NFL journalism, at the age of 72. Mortensen, who concluded his illustrious career with ESPN in September 2023, just before the NFL season's kickoff, leaves behind a legacy marked by dedication, excellence, and a profound influence on sports journalism.

Chris Mortensen's journey in journalism commenced in 1969, a career that spanned various domains, including news reporting, investigative journalism, and sports analysis. However, it was his contributions to NFL coverage that cemented his status as a stalwart in sports media.

Mortensen's tenure at ESPN began in 1991, a period during which he not only enriched the sports broadcasting landscape with his insightful analysis but also ventured into authorship with his book, "Playing for Keeps: How One Man Kept the Mob from Sinking Its Hooks into Pro Football," offering readers a glimpse into the challenges facing professional football.

Pitaro Honors Mortensen

ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro paid tribute to Mortensen, acknowledging his pioneering contributions to sports journalism and his cherished presence within the ESPN family. "Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive, hard-working teammate.

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 alike, and our hearts and thoughts are with his loved ones during this time," Pitaro expressed.

Mortensen's career, however, was not without its challenges. In 2016, he bravely faced a Stage 4 throat cancer diagnosis, leading to a temporary hiatus from his role at ESPN. His battle with cancer and eventual retirement in September 2023 marked the end of an era for NFL coverage on ESPN.

Chris Mortensen's death is a significant loss to the sports journalism community and NFL enthusiasts worldwide. His dedication to uncovering the truth, combined with his passion for football, made him a beloved figure among peers, fans, and athletes alike.

As the sports world mourns his passing, Mortensen's legacy as a pioneering sports journalist and a steadfast advocate for the NFL will undoubtedly endure, inspiring future generations to pursue journalism with the same fervor and integrity that he embodied.

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