State of the Hogs: Team Mort Needs You … needs-you/

Just finished my column for the weekend. It’s on Chris Mortensen. Went to hear him Thursday at The Summit at Cross Church in Rogers. As most would expect, he was fantastic and didn’t keep any secrets. Bared all about his cancer treatment. He talked a little NFL, although I didn’t get into that in the column. It was all personal stuff.

He did say that he expects Jerry Jones to release Tony Romo. He said the likely destinations are Houston, Kansas City or Denver. He said Chicago also is a possibility, but he predicted it was more likely to be an AFC team to reduce the risk to the Cowboys.

It was a Q&A with Pastor Ronnie Floyd. Mort was asked to provide four or five teams that could end up in the Super Bowl. Mort said he’d try, then listed I think 10 to 12. I may not have gotten all of them written down, but I think he said New England, Dallas, Oakland, Green Bay, Seattle, Kansas City, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Denver and Houston. He said some of those were contingent on them getting Romo.

The column will be up soon. Mort said there were good results in his initial MD Anderson treatments of Stage 4 throat cancer. But, in November some of the cancer showed up in his left lung. He said it was not lung cancer and he’s had good results in some early treatments with amino acids.

prayers for mort and his family.always enjoyed listening to his take on stuff and glad that he’s still a big razorback supporter.hope all goes well for him

Thanks for the insight Clay.

A huge fan of Mort, will keep him and his family in my prayers

I have been praying for Mort since I first learned of his illness and will continue to do so…glad that as an acquaintance of mine would say, “He is doing adequate”. I would like to meet Mort some time, but doubt our paths will cross.

Excellent article, Clay.

Mort is the same genuine person you see on TV. He started out covering high school football just like I did. It makes you feel a kinship and know he worked hard to be where he’s at. He loves to compete. He’s still doing that.

Thank you, Clay. As always, your best work is when you write the stories of individuals.

I listened to a portion of the interview on Washington Watch when Ronnie Floyd hosted. Inspirational barely covers it.

Wonderful interview of a class act.

Great article Clay!
What a privilege it must be to know Mort and family.
My wife and I saw Alex recently outside a restaurant in town. He has matured a lot since his days with the Razorbacks.
My prays will be increased for Mort and family.

A talented man with a great family, I’m praying for his recovery. Clay, what is the younger Mort doing these days?

Alex just finished Masters at Bama. He has helped with quarterbacks as GA last two years. Coached scout team offense. Techniquely he’s no longer a GA so I don’t think he will be on field this spring. Will be one of many consultants on Saban’s staff. He is going to be a head coach some day. Very talented.

Wonderful job Clay with this story. I will pray for Mort and his family as well as all of you. When I hear a story like this it helps me confirm what’s important in life. God, family, and my country! God bless you!

I saw Alex Mortensen on the Alabama sidelines this football season. He must work for the Tide.

As I wrote, he was a GA the last two years. Yes, he works for the Tide. Did what I wrote not make sense? Was there a question in there? He helps with quarterbacks. As a GA, he could coach on the field. He will not be able to coach on the field going forward. He is no longer a GA, technically. So he would have to be a consultant. They cannot coach on the field. He could be the 10th coach added later this year when the NCAA legislation becomes official.

Looks like Mort is getting back to work. I see his name across the bottom of the screen as he reports NFL developments. That’s a very good sign.

Talked with Mort for about 30 minutes at pro day. He was just there to see a few NFL folks he knows. He said there were not as many actual coaches there. Most were area scouts. If there had been more top round choices (there aren’t in this group of Hogs) then it would have attracted a higher level of NFL coaches. So he talked with me more than he talked with scouts.

Just an update, his treatments with amino acid supplements are going well, but that fatigues him. He does take daily walk to build up his strength.

The toughest thing is that he has a hard time swallowing. There was a time that he didn’t swallow. Guess he was getting fed elsewhere. Now, he has swallowing drills to regain the habit. Also, a lot of his diet is liquid just to take it easy on his throat. All in all, he’s in good spirits. But his voice is softer (just doesn’t have the volume in his voice after the throat cancer) and his weight is still way down. He’s frustrated because he needs high caloric intake, but eating takes 45 minutes. He gets full before he can add what he needs in calories.

There is always that dark Mort sense of humor. He said, “It could be worse, they could take out this lung. And, I did get out of bed today. So that’s pretty good. Some days I didn’t. And, I’ve lost that weight I thought needed to go. I’d like to get some of it back. Never had problem gaining weight until now.”

Just as he was about ready to leave a young reporter introduced himself and asked advice on doing his job. Mort said he’d give him his journalism class speech. And he did. I’ve heard it before. It was about building relationships and trust. He said that’s really important in about any job, but it’s really important if you are communicating thoughts of a person back to another medium. You have to get them to talk to you and open up. If they don’t, you don’t have anything. He also said it’s about competing. You must try to win. And, you must start at the lowest level. He suggested high school coverage. That’s what he did for five years, cover a high school beat in SoCal.