Credit: ESPN

The sports media world was in mourning Sunday with the news that longtime ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen had passed away at the age of 72.

After ESPN announced Mortensen’s passing, tributes began to trickle in and didn’t stop coming all day long, a testament to Mort’s character and the way he treated those he worked alongside.

While Mortensen had briefly stepped away from ESPN to deal with a throat cancer diagnosis in 2016 and retired from the company in 2023, he remained a member of the sports media community and a mentor to some media members out there.

One person who called Mortensen a mentor was NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah. When he and Rich Eisen broke the news of Mort’s passing to their audience on Sunday, Jeremiah shared some special words and support for his mentor’s family.

“He’s my mentor, he’s one of my best friends, I’ve said it many times. I don’t even want to talk about me, he’s done everything for me, I’ve told that, I don’t want to tell that story,” Jeremiah said. “I just want to look in the camera and tell Micki his wife and Alex his son that every time I talk to Mort you guys came up because he was so proud of you. He loves you so much, you’re always in his heart, you’re always on his mind.”

“He’s a sweet, sweet person with a sweet family and that’s who I’m thinking about right now,” Jeremiah said, his voice breaking.

The former NFL scout also added that he had texted with Mortensen one day prior and they discussed, what else, the NFL Scouting Combine.

“He loved this game too, he texted me yesterday. He wanted to know how [Spencer] Rattler was gonna do in the workout,” said Jeremiah. “So we talked about Rattler, we were texting back and forth yesterday. He loved this game and that’s why when we found out about this the last thing I wanted to do was come on here.

“But man, he’d have punched me in the face if we didn’t do this and have fun and enjoy this great game that he loved so much.”

This isn’t the first time Jeremiah had the chance to praise his mentor on TV. The two appeared together on ESPN during the 2020 NFL Draft and the mentee had the opportunity to tell Mortensen directly how amazing he was.

“As great as Mort is at his job, Chris Mortensen is a better person.”

[NFL Network]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to