So sad. NFL great Todd Christensen has passed away at 57. The former Raiders tight end and ‘American Gladiators’ host found success both on and off the field before his untimely death.
Oakland Raiders tight end and one-time American Gladiators host Todd Christensen died at the age of 57 on Nov. 13 in Utah. Todd was undergoing surgery when he suddenly passed away. The NFL pro leaves behind an impressive legacy — read on to learn more about his life.
Todd Christensen Dies At 57 — NFL Pro Passes Away During Surgery
The NFL is mourning a huge loss after Todd’s unexpected death. It’s unclear what surgical procedure the NFL legend was undergoing at the time of his passing or exactly how he died. Todd had battled liver disease and other illnesses during the final years of his life, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Todd, a five-time Pro Bowler, played in the NFL for more than ten years. After leaving the Oakland Raiders in 1988, the then-33 year old joined the cast of American Gladiators as the host of the popular game show. After his stint on Gladiators, Todd went on to become a sports broadcaster, hosting NFL on NBC. Few footballers have been able to follow their NFL careers with the same success as Todd.
Todd Christensen’s Raiders Coach & Teammates Honor His Memory
The NFL will miss the legendary player. Tom Flores, the head coach for the Raiders during Todd’s time on the team, spoke about his star tight end on Nov. 13, saying:
Todd was an excellent football player and was prolific in the passing game. He was a hybrid tight end, an H-back before it became a football term. He started out as a special teamer and was named our special teams captain right away while playing behind Raymond Chester and Dave Casper. He then helped us win Super Bowls. I remember Todd as always using big words and quoting famous authors and poets. He was comical at times because no one knew what he was talking about. I hadn’t seen much of him lately but miss the fun, great times we all shared as a Raider family.
General Manager Reggie McKenzie, a former Raiders teammate of Todd’s, also spoke about his sad passing, saying, “Todd was a special player and an exemplary teammate and I cherished our time together as Raiders.”
Our thoughts are with Todd’s family and friends during this difficult time.
WATCH: Todd Christensen’s Speech At 2007 Sports Spectacular
— Danielle Noriega