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ESPN Analyst Chris Mortenson Has Passed Away at Age 72

NY Post - Chris Mortensen’s colleagues and peers took to social media to commemorate his life and pay their respects following his death at the age of 72.

The longtime NFL insider died Sunday morning, his family announced, per his longtime professional home at ESPN.

On the NFL Network, Rich Eisen and Daniel Jeremiah tearfully celebrated Mortensen while broadcasting the NFL combine on Sunday afternoon.

“I met Chris Mortensen when I was 26 years old, when [Mortensen] was the GOAT (Greatest Of All-TIme) in the making for the worldwide leader in sports, ESPN,” Eisen recalled. “One of the best football reporters we’ve ever known.”

Jeremiah added, while fighting tears, “He’s my mentor. He’s one of my best friends… he’s a sweet, sweet person with a sweet family, and that’s who I’m thinking about right now.”

Mortensen took a leave of absence from ESPN in 2016 after being diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer and left the Worldwide Leader in September 2023.

Pro Football Hall of Famer and ESPN colleague Peyton Manning posted a tribute to Mortensen on Instagram.

“Heartbroken. We lost a true legend,” Manning wrote. “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.”

I'm not sure if I'm the best person to be writing this blog. I'm not the world's biggest football fan. Not the mention the whole Tom Brady/Deflategate thing. I know at times Barstool Sports and Chris Mortensen didn't see eye to eye. And to be perfectly honest, I don't know the proper way to write a eulogy blog. But I do know he deserves one. As a casual football fan, Chris Mortensen was a staple of NFL football coverage. As long as I can remember, Chris Mortensen has been telling me about football. Sometimes I agreed with him, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I said, "alright shut the fuck up dude" and other times I thought he made great points. No matter what you thought of Chris Mortensen, it's terrible to see him go.  

In 72 years, Mort lived a fulfilling life. He accomplished more in his life than 99% of people reading this. At the same time it's far too young. He was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer in 2016. The fact that he made it until March 2024 is admirable in it's own right. He's been with ESPN since 1991. Again, since before I was born. For my entire life I've turned on the TV and he's been there. I wasn't even paying attention half the time. But he was there. He was professional, and a comforting voice to have playing over your speakers. It's going to be weird not having him around. 

RIP Mort.