November 7, 1951|
Chris "Mort" Mortensen (born November 7, 1951) is an American journalist, providing reports for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and ESPN.com. He also has his own Web page (linked off ESPN.com) that launched in 2000.
Mortensen attended North Torrance High School in Torrance, California and El Camino College before serving two years in the Army during the Vietnam War. He is the author of the 1991 book Playing for Keeps: How One Man Kept the Mob from Sinking Its Hooks into Pro Football, currently out of print.
Mortensen says his journalism career began once he realized that he no longer could compete in football, basketball and baseball beyond high school. He forsook his goal of being a teacher and coach when he realized how competitive sports journalism could be. Since starting his career with the Daily Breeze newspaper in Torrance, California in 1969, Mortensen has received 18 awards in journalism. In 1978, he won the National Headliner Award for Investigative Reporting in all categories. In 1999, he made a film on "The Unreal Story of Professional Wrestling".
From 1983 to 1990, Mortensen worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, filing investigative reports and covering the Atlanta Braves (1983–85), Atlanta Falcons (1985–86) and the NFL (1987–89). In 1987, he was honored with the George Polk Award for his reporting, and he remains the sole sportswriter to receive the award since Red Smith in 1951.
Since first appearing on ESPN in 1991, Mortensen has provided reports for the network's Emmy Award-winning programs NFL GameDay/NFL Countdown/Sunday NFL Countdown and the Outside the Lines series. He has also served as an analyst for ESPN's coverage of the NFL Draft.