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Longtime NFL Insider For ESPN Passes Away At 72 As Tributes Pour In From The NFL World

Longtime NFL insider for ESPN passes away at 72 as tributes pour in from the NFL world. The NFL suffered a significant loss with the passing of Chris Mortensen, who had been a reporter since 1991.

Author:David Mitchell
Reviewer:Daniel Clark
Mar 04, 20246.5K Shares106.8K Views
Longtime NFL insider for ESPN passes away at 72 as tributes pour in from the NFL world. The NFL suffered a significant loss with the passing of Chris Mortensen, who had been a reporter since 1991. Mortensen had dedicated over three decades to covering the league, leaving a lasting impact on sports journalism.
His contributions were widely recognized, with accolades such as the Dick McCann Award from the Pro FootballWriters of America in 2016. The NFL community mourns the loss of this esteemed journalist.
"Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive, hard-working teammate," ESPN Chair Jimmy Pitaro wrote in a statement. "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."
Following Mortensen's passing, numerous individuals, including Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, expressed their condolences on social media. Manning, who had been Mortensen's colleague at ESPN, joined many others in remembering and honoring the esteemed journalist.
"Heartbroken," Manning wrote in his Instagram post in which he showed photos of him with Mortensen. "We lost a true legend. Mort was the best in the business and I cherished our friendship. I trusted him with my announcement to sign with the Broncos and with the news of my retirement. I will miss him dearly and my thoughts and prayers are with Micki & his family. Rest in peace, Mort."
Adam Schefter, ESPN's NFL insider, shared a close bond with Mortensen, evident from their longstanding relationship. Schefter has consistently featured alongside Mortensen in his profile picture, symbolizing their strong connection.
An absolutely devastating day. Mort was one of the greatest reporters in sports history, and an even better man. Sincerest condolences to his family, and all who knew and loved him. So many did. Mort was the very best. He will be forever missed and remembered.- Adam Schefter on X (formerly Twitter)
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay also offered his thoughts and condolences on the passing of Chris Mortensen.
"Another great one has left us," Irsay posted. "So sad to hear of Chris Mortensen’s passing. Mort was a dear friend, and an award-winning legend. My heart goes out to his family."
During the NFL Scouting Combine broadcast, NFL Network's Rich Eisen and Daniel Jeremiah, who has openly spoken about the mentorship he received from Mortensen, were on air when the news of Mortensen's passing emerged. Jeremiah disclosed that he had been texting Mortensen just the day before, highlighting the suddenness of the loss.
"He texted me yesterday," Jeremiah said as he held back tears. "He wanted to know how [Spencer] Rattler was doing in the workout. So, we talked about Rattler, we were texting back and forth yesterday. He loved this game."
"I just want to look at the camera and tell Micki, his wife, and Alex, his son, that every time I talked to Mort, you guys came up because he was so proud of you. He loves you so much. You’re always in his heart. You’re always on his mind. He was a sweet, sweet person with a sweet family. That’s who I’m thinking about right now."
Chris Mortensen wearing a microphone on his ear during a report
Chris Mortensen wearing a microphone on his ear during a report
Eisen added, "I met Chris Mortensen when I was 26 years old when he was the G.O.A.T. in the making for the ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’ at ESPN. He was one of the best footballreporters that we’ve ever known. He was so nice to me, so welcoming to me when I first got there."
Additional condolences and prayers from across the NFL community flooded in on [date] for the man affectionately known as "Mort," both on and off the gridiron.
  • Jeff Passan - "Chris Mortensen was a shining example for everyone who does this job. Kind to all. Thoughtful and principled. He knew he had the best job in the world and never took it for granted. I cherished every conversation with him and feel lucky to have called him a friend. RIP, Mort."
  • Scott Van Pelt - "Every single tribute to Mort is the same. The sincerity, decency, kindness, professionalism and humanity of the man is referenced by every team, player and colleague. Believe them all. Christ Mortensen was a wonderful soul."
  • Suzy Kolber - "RIP my dear dear friend. Longtime tv partner and confidant. One of the very few people on earth I could trust with anything. All my love to Micki and Alex."
  • Robert Griffin III - "Rest in Peace to one of the pioneers of the sports reporting industry. Mort was more than a reporter, but a friend to many and a great teammate. Prayers up for the entire Mortensen family."
  • Jeff Darlington - "Chris Mortensen is the person I strives to be like when I was young. And after the friendship we developed, he remained the type of person I want to be as I grow older. I am forever indebted to him for all the ways he inspired me – both before and after I got to call him a treasured friend. While I'm not ready to accept a world without Mort, I am so thankful for the time he was here. A devastating day for our industry and all those who were lucky enough to know him."
  • Shaun O'Hara - "Heartbreaking news about Chris Mortensen. He was liked & trust by EVERYONE. Always a joy to be around. Prayers to his family & friends. We will all miss you Mort."
  • Greg Jennings - "One time for Christ Mortensen! #RIP"
  • Mike Greenberg - "Chris Mortensen was one of the kindest, most generous gentlemen you could ever come across, in any field. His professionalism and decency earned him universal admiration – his enthusiasm and good nature made him everyone’s friend. His mark on the business will last a long time, his impact on those of us lucky enough to know him well will last the rest of our lives. Rest in peace, Mort. We will treasure your memory forever."
David Mitchell

David Mitchell

Author
David Mitchell is a versatile writer at Tennessee Independent, specializing in news, sports, and player profiles. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, David brings a unique perspective to his articles, covering a wide range of topics that resonate with readers. His expertise in these areas ensures that readers receive insightful and engaging content, making him a valuable asset to the Tennessee Independent team.
Daniel Clark

Daniel Clark

Reviewer
Daniel Clark is an experienced author at Tennessee Independent, renowned for delivering insightful articles with a professional approach. With a focus on factual accuracy and authoritative insights, Daniel covers a wide range of topics, providing valuable information and engaging narratives. His expertise in areas such as performance, player profiles, and current events ensures that readers receive trustworthy and informative content. Daniel's commitment to delivering well-researched articles makes him a reliable source for expert perspectives on Tennessee Independent.
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