Legendary Reporter Dead at 72

(WatchDogReport.org) – Veteran ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen has passed away at the age of 72. He died on March 3, only six months after retiring from the network. Mortensen reported for ESPN for 32 years and went on temporary leave in 2016 as he battled stage 4 throat cancer.

Mortensen returned to the network later in the year and said there was almost no detection of the cancer. He expressed excitement about another season and hinted he would keep an eye on the sport after announcing his retirement on September 5, 2023. Mortensen stated that he stepped away from ESPN to prioritize his family, his health, and his faith.

The reporter, known affectionately as “Mort,” won 18 journalism awards and was nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes for his work covering the NFL. A devout Christian, Mortensen’s X bio referenced Matthew 22:36-40 and described him as a “Jesus follower.” Mortensen commented in 2021 that man lets us down because he is made of flesh and that his faith and trust lay with the Lord and the Lord only. He credited his faith with helping him through his cancer diagnosis and treatment.

ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro released a statement crediting Mortensen as a pioneer in the industry. Pitaro commented on the reporter’s “extraordinary skill” and enthusiasm and said he led his field for decades. The network’s current lead NFL reporter, Adam Schefter, commented on X that Mortensen’s death marked a “devastating day” and that he will always be missed and remembered.

Mortensen is survived by his wife, Micki, and their son Alex. Widely loved by colleagues and NFL fans, the reporter helped break the news of Peyton Manning’s retirement. Manning, like Schefter, referred to him as the best in the industry. The Broncos quarterback stated that he had trusted Mortensen with breaking the news of his signing with the Broncos and his retirement and that he cherished him as a friend. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he admired how hard Mortensen worked and described the reporter as one of the most revered in sport.

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