Chris Mortensen, an award-winning journalist and one of the most respected and accomplished reporters covering the National Football League today, joined ESPN in 1991. A senior NFL analyst, Mortensen regularly appears on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, SportsCenter, NFL Live and other programs, in addition to being part of ESPN’s annual Super Bowl week and NFL Draft coverage.On Fridays during the fall, Mortensen co-hosts a two-hour national NFL show on ESPN Radio joined by Mike Tirico and Keyshawn Johnson. His work also regularly appears on ESPN.com.
Mortensen, who has covered every Super Bowl since 1979, embarked on one of his most unique assignments during the summer of 2009. His “Mort Goes to Camp” bus tour included visits to 21 NFL training camps in 24 days with daily appearances on ESPN Radio and television programs and related content on other ESPN platforms. In 2010, Mortensen and NFL Insider Adam Schefter departed on separate cross-country road trips that took the duo to all 32 NFL training camps in 19 days and logging more than 15,000 combined miles. Mortensen concentrated on teams in the West, while Schefter focused on the East.
Previously, Mortensen served as the NFL columnist for The Sporting News and he was a contributing writer for Sport magazine. He covered the NFL for The National (1989-90), where he was one of the first writers hired by editor Frank Deford. He also worked as a consultant with CBS Sports’ NFL Today in 1990.
Mortensen worked for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1983-89 where he filed investigative reports and covered the Braves (1983-85), Falcons (1985-86) and the NFL (1985-89).
Mortensen was honored with the coveted George Polk Award in 1987 for his reporting. He remained the lone sportswriter to receive the award since Red Smith in 1951 until Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams of the San Francisco Chronicle were recognized with the Polk in 2005 for their coverage of the Balco case. Since starting his career with the South Bay (Calif.) Daily Breeze in 1969, Mortensen has received 18 awards in journalism and he has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes. In 1978 he won the National Headliner Award for Investigative Reporting in all categories.
A native of Torrance, Calif., Mortensen attended El Camino College, and then served two years in the Army during the Vietnam Era before he was honorably discharged. He is the author of Playing for Keeps: How One Man Stopped the Mob from Sinking its Hooks into Pro Football.
Mortensen’s son, Alex, is a former standout quarterback at the University of Arkansas.
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