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BYU, NFL great Todd Christensen, 57, dies after liver transplant

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  • Tom in MS Madison, MS
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    Sad day for BYU. This was a gut-it-out type of player with the Raiders. You always knew he would give you everything in the tank, and then try to run on any vapors that were left. And always as opinionated as ever. Who can forget all the appearances on Johnny Carson? Even though a Coug, he will be missed by the sport. My deepest condolences to the Christensen family, and also to the greater BYU family and Raider Nation. He will be missed.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Terrible news, he was very active in the local communities. Best to his family!

  • coloradoblue Grand Junction, CO
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    Todd was spectacular to watch in College. When he was drafted by the Cowboy's as a running back they tried to convert him to a tight end. He didn't want to play tight end and was then sent to the Raiders where he was the leading tight end receiver in the league for a few years. He was tough on the field but kind and gentle off of the field. He was loved by everyone on campus and always represented the school in a positive manner. His vocabulary was above 98% of all broadcasters and he had an amazing whit. My deepest condolences to his family. There will never be another like him! I feel blessed to have known him. God bless!

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    RIP Todd Christensen! Condolences to the Christensen family.

  • poundwagon South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    This is a time when Todd's football accomplishments really don't matter. He was a good man and contributed to the world by raising a great family and giving back to his community. Isn't that what really matters? We never know how much time we will be granted, so we better make the most of every day. Todd's life was an example of this. He will be missed. My deepest condolences go to his family.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Mr. Christensen will be greatly missed. His commentary always tried (and often humorously failed) to bring an intellectual flavor to the games he was commentating. If for nothing else, he should be appreciated for his attempts to blend the brute athlete with the thoughtful man of letters.

    RIP, Mr. Christensen, and best wishes to his family and friends in their time of loss.

    There despite the grace of god go I...

  • Trickeration Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    RIP #46! Todd Christensen was a great man and left a great legacy! Best of luck on the Grid Iron in the sky my friend!

  • AZCoug Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    Wow, what a great player he was! I remember Todd running the opening kick-off of the second half of the Tangerine Bowl back for a touchdown less than a week after he had his appendix removed. Amazing! Always one of my favorite Cougars!

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    Todd was a regular at the Gold's Gym in AF. He always had a kind word for others.

    I met him in Oregon when we were both in high school there. He's always been a class act.

    My best to his family.

  • DodgerDoug Salem, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    Such sad news. Condolences to the Christensen family. God be with you #46.

  • InterestedObserver Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    Apparently he was having a Liver Transplant.

    RaiderNation Will Miss him
    CougarNation More So.

    He could was so intellectual and made it fun.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 11:56 a.m.

    oh my gosh I can't believe this. I have seen Todd for years at the American Fork Golds gym and he has always looked so fit. I also always saw Todd helping some of the patrons of the gym who were in wheel chairs. This is such sad news and shocking news.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Nov. 13, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    Todd smash the stereotype of football players being assumed to not have intellect. He was a brilliant commentator and would have made an excellent attorney. Great role modal.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    Todd is one of the truly special men. It was always a joy to see and talk to him. He was everyone's friend and a true disciple of Christ. Condolences to his family.

  • UteNationAlum Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 12:30 p.m.

    Wow this is sad! I remember watching him on the old MWC station.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    This is terrible news, what a shocking and sad thing to hear. Sincere condolences to the Christensen family.

  • GoRed WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    Very sad news! Besides being an outstanding athlete, Christensen was an intelligent, class act. Our prayers are with his family and friends.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 1:52 p.m.

    Had to go to Google to find out what, where and why of story.... you know, what was the surgery about?

    Deseret News...... try answering the first question that comes to a readers mind about circumstances of death.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    This guy was a machine of a football player. I enjoyed so much watching him play with the Raiders while growing up in California. I never met or knew his as a person, but it sure seems that those who did can explain and know what a great man he was. It is always a sad day when such great men pass like this all of a sudden. May his family be blessed through this difficult time and may he be accepted as I can only imagine and know he will. What a great man. You will be missed four six.

  • Hondo Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 13, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    This is a sad day. I was too young to remember him playing for BYU, but I remember seeing him as a Raider. Christensen will be missed. He was great, on and off the field. One of my favorite Cougars.

  • SoCalTrueBlue2 San Diego, CA
    Nov. 13, 2013 2:08 p.m.

    I am the same age as Todd and loved watching him as a running back when I was a student at BYU. In my humble opinion, there has never been a BYU running back more capable than Todd Christensen at smashing forward for a first down on third and one or third and two. He was a class act on and off the field (okay, Luke Staley was also really good at that task). What a sad day for Todd's family. What a legacy he leaves behind.

  • awabob Casa Grande, AZ
    Nov. 13, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    Profoundly and personally sad day. One winter semester, Coach Edwards let Todd play lacrosse (spring football is not what it is now). I was on that team and we all got to know a really great guy. Funny, personal, real TEAM guy. DEFINATELY not the best lacrosse player on the team, almost funny to watch, but it never bothered him. Always an effort guy who never took himself too seriously. I was always very proud of what he became professionally and personally.
    Bye Todd. See you soon enough.

  • CodyCougar Madison, SD
    Nov. 13, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    I went to school with his Brother Paul. Paul mentioned to me how badly Oregon wanted Todd to come and be a track athlete. After his elligability was up, BYU encouraged Todd to stay on campus and train for the 1980 Olympics in the decathalon. The general concensus was that Todd could medal with a few years of training. 'Till we meet Todd Christensen.

  • slk Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 13, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    Once while broadcasting a 49ers game, Todd made the following remark about Steve Young's outstanding performance: "He certainly has filled the measure of his creation!" His co-anchor sat in stunned silence -- probably not even understanding what he'd just heard. Well, Steve Young isn't the only one who's "filled the measure of his creation." So has Todd.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    I'm gonna miss seeing Todd around town and at the gym. He was a very friendly guy, always had something interesting to say. Great football player as well. Like I said, things will be a little bit less interesting at the grocery store, the gym, the gas station, all the places you'd run into him.

  • Realistic Goggles Alpine, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    This is heartbreaking news, indeed.

    I always knew Todd to be a good person and family man who tried to do what he felt was right.

    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to his dear wife, Kathy, and the rest of the Christensen family.

  • Doogie South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 13, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    There have been great words for a great man. I too knew Todd, more so in his younger days when I was in the same BYU branch and he lived with his brother Merril. We had some fun times together and laughed alot! Whenever I saw him through the years, he was always the same guy, very friendly, personable, passionate and thoughtful. Todd you left your mark on this world which will not be forgotten. My condolences to the Christensen family in this time of sorrow.

  • concretebo Sandy, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    I always Loved watching Todd play he did give it all and what a class act !!!! My prayers are with his family at this sad time. Gone but Never Forgotten !!!

  • sg newhall, CA
    Nov. 13, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    A football giant and a exceptional husband and father entered into the waiting arms of his Savior with members of his family surrounding him. I am certain if there's a team, he's already be first choice. God bless the Christansen family, Todd, you will be missed. Thanks for all the memories both at BYU and in the NFL.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Nov. 13, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    Sincere sympathy to Todd's family, friends and fans. All partisan loyalties aside for now--this guy was one of the best I ever saw play at his position and I found him to be a wonderful commentator, who knew the game and loved it. A sad day and I will miss him.

  • LoveMySports Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    I didn't know Todd personally but I have to say this is a shock. As great of a football player he was, I always thought he was even a better person. God bless him and his family at this difficult time.

  • utah chick cedar city, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 6:19 p.m.

    This Ute fan will miss Mr. Christensen. He was quite a formidable player who gave my Utes fits trying to defend him. As a sports analyst, he was quirky. During one of his broadcasts, he referenced a receiver's ability to catch the ball, using the word "prestidigitation", meaning sleight of hand, like a magician. I had first heard the word earlier in the year. When hearing him use it, I was impressed.

    My thoughts are with the loved ones of Todd Christensen and Cougar nation. He will be missed. Rest in peace Mr. Mustache.

  • LEDSFW Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 13, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    Public deaths rarely affect me but this one causes me grief. He was a great person, athlete and member of the faith. When he played in Oakland, I had many clients on the team and the raiders all loved his fire - as if he was a pirate on offense. I'll miss his insights on game day. My prayers are with his family. So strong at 37, gone at 57 like so many NFL greats. The game does take it's toll.

  • DMJ Newbury Park, CA
    Nov. 13, 2013 6:59 p.m.

    I always enjoyed my father's stories about working with Br. Christensen in the Los Angeles temple during the late 80's. Imagine the excitement of a temple-going Raiders fan, if there is such a person, upon seeing Todd in the temple.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Nov. 13, 2013 7:30 p.m.

    I shot quite a few BYU games Todd played in in 1977, and it was beyond fun.
    Such an all-in player.

    Best Wishes to his family and friends.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 7:58 p.m.

    He was a really good sportscaster and I'm sure a good man. Sad day for all.

  • GregThow denver, CO
    Nov. 13, 2013 8:26 p.m.

    Scott Pierce, I know you want to comment about Todd's tenure with the Mtn. West Sports Network. Free piece of advice. Don't. Thanks in advance.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Nov. 13, 2013 9:00 p.m.

    OH the extreme emotions that his family went through today. The excitement of getting a liver and yet the anxiety and then the shocking turn of events. I hope that they will find comfort at this time. Todd of course is in a wonderful place, it will seem like a long time, but it is so comforting to know that we will be with our loved ones again.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    The guy was a sincere intellectual. I remember sitting behind him at his son's baseball game. He had a newspaper to his left, the Book of Mormon on his right and he was taking detailed notes on what he read.

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    Very tragic news. Heart goes out to his family at such a difficult time. Fantastic player, and from what I've heard, an even better human being.

  • Chuck Schell Holladay, UT
    Nov. 13, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    On behalf of the membership of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, I would like to express our most sincere condolences to the family of one of the members of OUR family, Todd Christensen. We were honored to induct Todd into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 2009, and his plaque hangs proudly in the display case on the main concourse of EnergySolutions Arena. He symbolized everything that is good about sports today, and he will be missed by all who were fortunate to have met him in their lifetime.

    Chuck Schell, President
    Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation

  • Greg C West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    This is very sad news. I have always been a Todd Christensen fan as both a player and a broadcaster.

    I sure love watching Todd with the Raiders, he was one of the toughest football players I have ever seen. When I was a student at BYU in the mid 90's it seemed like Todd was always working out in the Smith Fieldhouse. And his workouts were not light, he always seemed to be pushing himself to the max.

    May God be with his family and loved ones. He will certainly be missed.

  • Hagothsen Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    He took the road less traveled by, and it made all the difference.

  • Surf is Up Miami, FL
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    RIP Bro. Christensen. I guess God needed a to fill a more important position on one of his teams, and you were the guy he wanted.

    We will all pass the same way eventually; some sooner, some later. But you were a great example in how you spent the time that you had.

    My best wishes and prayers rest on his family this week.

  • Stringer Bell Henderson, NV
    Nov. 14, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    Very sad. Lost him too soon. A great player and he seemed like a nice guy too.

  • thewizardofgoz Denton, TX
    Nov. 14, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    Todd's older brother, Merrill lived across the hall from me in the dorms our freshman year. He was so proud of his "little" brother and would speak of how he was such a force, even as a high school freshman that year. We had high expectations of Todd long before he came to BYU and he didn't disappoint.