Legendary NFL Scribe Mortensen Tackles Final Whistle at 72

In the big world of American sports, football stands out as the toughest egg for sportswriters to crack. The rosters are packed, the coaches are secretive, and the salary cap is as complicated as a Rubik’s Cube after it’s been thrown across the room a few times. This makes reporting on the NFL a bigger challenge than trying to eat a whole pizza in one sitting. But one man rose to the occasion like a true superhero: Chris Mortensen.

Mortensen, who was a rockstar NFL reporter for ESPN for a whopping 32 years, sadly passed away this week at the ripe age of 72. This man wasn’t just any old reporter. No, sir! He was an award-winning journalist who covered the NFL for nearly four decades, and he was so good at his job that he practically wrote the book on how it’s done.

Before making a name for himself with those bigwigs at ESPN, Mortensen worked at some smaller papers, like the Southern California South Bay Daily Breeze, where he snagged himself a National Headliner Award for his investigative reporting skills. Then, he made a pit stop at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where he covered all sorts of sports, not just your run-of-the-mill pigskin action. This guy was the jack of all sports trades, and he had the awards to prove it. Heck, he even got nominated for not one, but two Pulitzer Prizes!

But where Mortensen really made a splash was at ESPN. He was one of the first print journalists to jump ship to a TV sports gig, and he brought some serious street cred to the network’s NFL coverage. His cool, calm, and collected demeanor made him a fan favorite, and when he spoke, people listened. Even me, and trust me, I’ve got a short attention span when it comes to those sports shows.

In the end, Adam Schefter, ESPN’s current big cheese in the NFL coverage game, called Mortensen “ESPN’s reporting conscience” and “a great reporter, and an even better man.” And let me tell you, that’s a pretty big deal coming from a guy like Schefter. So here’s to you, Mort. You made football reporting look easy, even when it was as tough as trying to herd a bunch of cats. Cheers to a real legend!

Written by Staff Reports

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