CANTON, OH – A frail, yet himself Chris Mortensen, weakened due to cancer treatments, was out and about at Hall of Fame weekend.
The 64-year-old inspirationally accepted the Dick McCann Award on stage during the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony Saturday night, seven months after entering into treatment for Stage 4 throat cancer. Mortensen became the 48th annual winner of the Award, the third ESPN employee in the past 10 years over the past decade, joining John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli.
“No one is more deserving,” ESPN colleague Suzy Kolber said as part of a video presentation as thousands watched from Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
According to ABC News, Mortensen first made his name in journalism as an investigative reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. In 1988, he became the first sports reporter since Red Smith, working his way up to ESPN, now with a tense at the wide world leader in sports for 25 years.
“What’s so much more defining than the well-deserved honor that marks his career is the person that I’ve come to know over the years,” said USA Today’s Jarrett Bell. “Chris is as first-class as they come. In a business overflowing with huge egos, Chris is a good, down-to-earth dude who always seemed to me to represent something larger than getting the next story. That’s why I’m more proud to call him a friend than a colleague.”
Get well soon, Mort.