After his retirement, Christensen went into broadcasting but he also tried to break into baseball _ trying out for the Oakland Athletics when he was 33. And he even gave acting a shot, playing a game show host in an episode of TV’s “Married With Children.”
Christensen was a color commentator for the NFL on NBC from 1990-94, and also worked for ESPN and the now-defunct MountainWest Sports Network before handling Navy games for CBS Sports Network in the 2012 season.
Christensen was a devout Mormon who didn’t drink, and his family believes his liver problems started 25 years ago after a “botched” gall bladder operation, his son told The Associated Press.
“I’ve been receiving hundreds of texts, Facebook postings and emails _ from everybody with a story about my dad,” Toby Christensen said.
A native of Pennsylvania, Christensen’s family moved to Eugene, Ore., when he was a child and he became a standout at Sheldon High School. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
Christensen is survived by his wife, Kathy, and four sons. The family was making plans for a funeral as early as Saturday at a local Mormon church ward house in Alpine.
AP Sports Writer Anne M. Peterson in Oregon contributed to this report.