About six weeks ago, we told you about how longtime ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen was diagnosed with throat cancer and would be taking a leave of absence from the network to undergo necessary treatment for the life-threatening disease.
It turns out, though, that Mort just couldn’t get away, as he was the reporter who first broke the news about Peyton Manning officially calling it quits and announcing his retirement today.
While Manning had toyed with retirement since the Super Bowl, Mortensen was the first to break the official news, earning both praise and respect from some of his peers, while also showing that Manning—who’s close with Mort—wanted to be the one to tell the reporter himself.
Here’s how Peter King described things, per SI.com:
So it wasn’t until Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported just after 7 a.m. Eastern on Sunday that Manning was retiring that people knew for sure it was over. How did they know for sure? Because Manning and Mortensen are close. Mortensen is currently a patient at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, being treated for a life-threatening form of throat cancer. Mortensen is not working right now as he receives treatment, but he broke the definitive news on Manning, which said to everyone in the business: Peyton Manning is taking care of Mortensen. A cool thing to do—if that’s how it happened.
Just an awesome story to see, so here’s to hoping Mort beats cancer’s ass so he can keep doing what he does best.