American Football Database
Chris Mortensen
File:Chris Mortensen.jpg
Chief Engineering Officer Lt. Cmdr. Bill Nicol and ship’s Navigator, Lt. j.g. Abigail Steele assigned to USS San Antonio (LPD-17) talks with Chris Mortensen, ESPN, NFL insider during his recent visit to the ship.
Born (1951-11-07) November 7, 1951 (age 70)
Torrance, California
OccupationSports columnist

Chris "Mort" Mortensen (born on November 7, 1951 in Torrance, California), is an award-winning journalist, providing reports for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and He also has his own Web page (linked off that launched in 2000.

Early life

Mortensen attended North Torrance High School and El Camino College before serving two years in the Army.[1] 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.


Since starting his career with the South Bay Daily Breeze (CA) in 1969, Mortensen has received 18 awards in journalism. In 1978, he won the National Headliner Award for Investigative Reporting in all categories.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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. He also worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after beginning his career with The Daily Breeze in his hometown of Torrance, California. 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—this path taken after he was a "first round draft pick" by the U.S. Army, which he served honorably during the Vietnam War.

The National

He previously covered the NFL for The National (1989–90), where he was one of the first writers hired by editor Frank Deford.


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.


Mortensen's son Alex Mortensen is a free agent quarterback in the NFL. He was cut from the Tennessee Titans on August 11, 2009.


External links