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Tebow, who had been a favorite topic at Disney-owned ESPN during his final tumultuous seasons in the NFL, landed a job at ESPN in December. GMA has used guest hosts in the past, most prominently during anchor Robin Roberts‘ medical absence when Stephen Colbert, the cast of Modern Family and Oprah Winfrey were among those who filled in.
So having Tebow, the Denver Broncos quarterback before the team signed Peyton Manning, in the studio in the run-up to the Super Bowl is an obvious bit of stunt casting. (New York Giants QB Eli Manning will be in the studio on Wednesday.) The preparations are already in full swing as the New York-New Jersey region readies for the first-ever cold-weather Super Bowl at an outdoor stadium on Feb. 2, when the Broncos will face the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. And the area just outside of GMA‘s Times Square studios has been converted to Super Bowl Boulevard, complete with a toboggan run, concert stage, Vince Lombardi Trophy exhibit and an enormous three-story studio for game presenter Fox Sports.
Of course, Tebow’s on-field performance has been minutely dissected and highly controversial — almost as controversial as his outspokenness about his Christian faith and his relentlessly positive outlook.
“We acknowledge and understand that Tim’s faith is a big part of who he is,” Justin Connolly, ESPN senior vp programming, college networks, told reporters recently. “It’s part of what makes him special. At the same time, we hired him for his football opinions and his experience.”
Tebow made his debut as an ESPN analyst Jan. 6 during the BCS Championship game.
“As someone who’s positive, I’d love to continue to be someone who is positive,” Tebow added. “I’d also like to be objective. I’ve never had a hard time saying what I believe.”
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