Chris Mortensen tributes pour in from Peyton Manning, others in NFL world: ‘Heartbroken’


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The NFL misplaced one in every of its longtime reporters on Sunday as ESPN introduced that Chris Mortensen, who has been with them since 1991, died at 72 years outdated. 

The loss is one which the league is mourning after Mortensen labored greater than three many years protecting the NFL. Mortensen was an award-winning journalist, most notably receiving the Pro Football Writers of America‘s Dick McCann Award in 2016. 

“Mort was broadly revered as an business pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive, hard-working teammate,” ESPN Chair Jimmy Pitaro wrote in a press release. “He coated the NFL with extraordinary ability and fervour, and was on the prime of his subject for many years. He’ll really be missed by colleagues and followers, and our hearts and ideas are along with his family members.”


Analyst Chris Mortensen (Kevin C. Cox/AAF/Getty Photographs/File)

Many individuals who met Mortensen provided their condolences on social media, together with Corridor of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, who has been his colleague with ESPN as nicely.

“Heartbroken,” Manning wrote in his Instagram submit through which he confirmed pictures of him with Mortensen. “We misplaced a real legend. Mort was the most effective within the enterprise and I cherished our friendship. I trusted him with my announcement to signal with the Broncos and with the information of my retirement. I’ll miss him dearly and my ideas and prayers are with Micki & his household. Relaxation in peace, Mort.”


Adam Schefter, ESPN’s NFL insider, has at all times had an in depth relationship with Mortensen. In spite of everything, he is at all times been in his X profile image. 

“A completely devastating day,” he wrote on X. “Mort was one of many best reporters in sports activities historical past, and a fair higher man. Sincerest condolences to his household, and all who knew and liked him. So many did. Mort was the perfect. He can be perpetually missed and remembered.”

Indianapolis Colts proprietor Jim Irsay additionally shared his ideas on the loss. 

Chris Mortensen in 2006

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, proper, is proven on the ESPN set with Chris Mortensen at FedExField in Washington, D.C., on Sep. 11, 2006. (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Photographs)

“One other nice one has left us,” Irsay posted. “So unhappy to listen to of Chris Mortensen’s passing. Mort was a pricey good friend, and an award-winning legend. My coronary heart goes out to his household.” 

NFL Community’s Wealthy Eisen and Daniel Jeremiah, who has been very public in regards to the mentorship he received from Mortensen, had been broadcasting the NFL Scouting Mix when the information broke. 

Jeremiah revealed he was simply texting Mortensen on Saturday. 

“He texted me yesterday,” Jeremiah mentioned as he held again tears. “He wished to understand how [Spencer] Rattler was doing within the exercise. So, we talked about Rattler, we had been texting forwards and backwards yesterday. He liked this recreation.”

“I simply wish to have a look at the digicam and inform Micki, his spouse, and Alex, his son, that each time I talked to Mort, you guys got here up as a result of he was so pleased with you. He loves you a lot. You’re at all times in his coronary heart. You’re at all times on his thoughts. He was a candy, candy individual with a candy household. That’s who I’m eager about proper now.”

Eisen added, “I met Chris Mortensen after I was 26 years outdated when he was the G.O.A.T. within the making for the ‘Worldwide Chief in Sports activities’ at ESPN. He was the most effective soccer reporters that we’ve ever recognized. He was so good to me, so welcoming to me after I first received there.”

Extra condolences and prayers from across the NFL world poured in on X for the person they known as “Mort” on and off the gridiron: 

JEFF PASSAN: “Chris Mortensen was a shining instance for everybody who does this job. Type to all. Considerate and principled. He knew he had the most effective job on the earth and by no means took it as a right. I cherished each dialog with him and really feel fortunate to have known as him a good friend. RIP, Mort.”

SCOTT VAN PELT: “Each single tribute to Mort is identical. The sincerity, decency, kindness, professionalism and humanity of the person is referenced by each workforce, participant and colleague. Consider all of them. Christ Mortensen was an exquisite soul.”

SUZY KOLBER: “RIP my pricey pricey good friend. Longtime television associate and confidant. One of many only a few individuals on earth I might belief with something. All my like to Micki and Alex.”

ROBERT GRIFFIN III: “Relaxation in Peace to one of many pioneers of the sports activities reporting business. Mort was greater than a reporter, however a good friend to many and an awesome teammate. Prayers up for all the Mortensen household.”

Chris Mortensen talks into microphone

Chris Mortensen is proven in the course of the Monday Night time Soccer recreation between the Inexperienced Bay Packers and Seahawks in Seattle on Nov. 27, 2006. (Kirby Lee/NFLPhotoLibrary)


JEFF DARLINGTON: “Chris Mortensen is the individual I strives to be like after I was younger. And after the friendship we developed, he remained the kind of individual I wish to be as I get older. I’m perpetually indebted to him for all of the methods he impressed me – each earlier than and after I received to name him a treasured good friend. Whereas I am not prepared to just accept a world with out Mort, I’m so grateful for the time he was right here. A devastating day for our business and all those that had been fortunate sufficient to know him.”

SHAUN O’HARA: “Heartbreaking information about Chris Mortensen. He was appreciated & belief by EVERYONE. At all times a pleasure to be round. Prayers to his household & buddies. We’ll all miss you Mort.”

GREG JENNINGS: “One time for Christ Mortensen! #RIP”

MIKE GREENBERG: “Chris Mortensen was one of many kindest, most beneficiant gents you may ever come throughout, in any subject. His professionalism and decency earned him common admiration – his enthusiasm and good nature made him everybody’s good friend. His mark on the enterprise will final a very long time, his affect on these of us fortunate sufficient to know him nicely will final the remainder of our lives. Relaxation in peace, Mort. We’ll treasure your reminiscence perpetually.”


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