During his playing days with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, Todd Christens was referred to as "The Renaissance Man1. His ability for quoting everyone from Kant to Shakespeare while elucidating the throngs of fans regarding the intricacies of the game and its metaphors to life, made him one of the more engaging and complex personalities ever to grace professional sports. Too often, his intellectual persona has overshadowed what was a Hall of Fame career. He was a five (5) time All-Pro Tight End (1983-1987) who caught 349 passes between 1983-1986 a NFL record at the time. Twice he led the NFL in receptions (1983 with 92 and 1986 with 95) along with Hail of Famer Kellen Winslow, the only tight end in NFL history to have done that -also the only tight end in history to have caught 90 passes twice.
Todd played on two (2) Superbowl champion teams - the 1980 Oakland Raiders and the 1983 Los Angeles Raiders. It is a testament to his perseverance and work ethic that he had a career in professional football, let alone an eleven (11) year span worthy of the Canton, Ohio shrine.
While a broadcast career appeared inevitable for the garrulous Christens, he did not come about his work by chance or sheer fame. He certainly worked in some of the usual places during his playing days (HBOs "Inside the NFL") but he broadened his scope as no other athlete, ranging from hosting a variety show - Fox "On Stage America" - to guest hosting "Up Close" for FSPN on numerous occasions, to defending the football players union stance on such prominent news as ABCs "Nightline" and CNNs "Crossfire". His first post football job in fact, was to co-host "American Gladiators", the syndicated, trash - sport hit. Soon afterward, Christens began his five (5) year career with NBC Sports. Once again, he displayed his range of sports knowledge, hosting events in weightlifting and body building while also being involved in Volleyball and Track & Field the latter affording him prominent roles in both the 1991 World Championship in Tokyo and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. In Barcelona, his superb dialogue with the many competitors earned him "Best Interviewer" honors of the Olympics by " USA Today".
But it was in football where he proved that he was arguably the brightest and most articulate ex-athlete in recent memory. His Denver - Houston 1992 Divisional Playoff game was nominated for an EMMY Award. He broadcast the greatest comeback in NFL history, Buffalo Houston 1993. The next year he was the analyst on the second collegiate "Game of the Century" between Florida State and Notre Dame again, acknowledged by "USA Today" as "College Broadcast of the Year".
In addition to his work as an analyst, Christens worked as an on field correspondent at SuperBowls XXVII and XXVIII. Currently, he works as a free lance analyst for both ESPN and ESPN 2 with their College Football telecasts. Recently, he hosted the World Combat Championship for Pay Per View on Showtime. He also displayed his acting chops on the 1994-5 season finale of "Married with Children" on Fox television playing a game show host. At 63", 230 pounds, Christens maintains his imposing physical presence with 6 day a week workouts effective enough to be offered a contract by the Shreveport Pirates of the Canadian Football League at age 39.
An accomplished operatic tenor, he has sung at numerous events including an audition of Turandots "Nessun Donna" with David Letterman. A voracious reader, Christens has written three (3) books of self published poetry, most prominently his book of verse entitled "Pliable Stone A sought after speaker he has been President of a non-profit organization entitled "Athletes For Youth", an organization that has provided entertainment and dollars to Los Angeles inner-city youth for the last nine (9) years. he has coached numerous championship teams for the youth in his community of Alpine, Utah where he resides with his wife Kathy and his four (4) sons.