The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) announced today that ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, who has covered the NFL for 32 years, including the last 25 with ESPN, has been selected as the 2016 Dick McCann Award winner.
The McCann Award is presented annually to a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage. The award is named for the first director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1962-67), who was also a longtime reporter in New York with several newspapers.
Mortensen is the 48th McCann Award winner and the third current or former member of ESPN.com, joining John Clayton (2007) and Len Pasquarelli (2008).
Mortensen, who continues to receive treatment following his Stage IV cancer diagnosis in January, will be honored during the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony on August 6 in Canton, Ohio.
Some of Mortensen’s longtime ESPN co-workers and friends offer their congratulations following today’s announcement.
John Wildhack, ESPN Executive Vice President, Production and Programming:
“Throughout his Hall of Fame career, Mort has had a profound impact on pro football and on how the league is covered, particularly at ESPN. He is one of our most respected and accomplished journalists, and the fact that his peers are honoring him with this award speaks volumes. We congratulate Mort and look forward to celebrating this achievement during Hall of Fame weekend.”
Chris Berman, ESPN NFL host:
“All of us are overjoyed and proud that Mort has won the McCann Award. Certainly not a surprise to us. He’s been a beacon for ESPN since the minute he walked in the door 25 years ago. More than his professional excellence, I value his friendship. I couldn’t be more thrilled for a great guy.”
John Clayton, ESPN Senior NFL Writer, former PFWA President (1999-2001) and 2007 McCann Award recipient:
“Chris is one of our profession’s greatest treasures. As a reporter, he is masterful. Like Will McDonough did, Chris shows that accurate information can educate a fan base. Plus, in every segment, he provides the right information that keeps football fans in the know on what is happening in a rapidly changing sport.”
Adam Schefter, ESPN NFL Insider and former PFWA President (2001-03):
“There is not a single person in our industry who is more deserving of any single award than Mort is for the McCann Award. It’s based on long and distinguished reporting in professional football, and there’s nobody who has done it longer or in a more distinguished way than Mort. As good of a reporter as he is, he’s a better man, teammate and friend, and the only thing that will give me more joy than seeing him get this award will be getting to work with him again this fall.”