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Tim Tebow's Football Afterlife Starts at ESPN

Tim Tebow after a pre-season game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Aug. 29

Photograph by David Bergman/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Tim Tebow after a pre-season game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Aug. 29

The world’s most famous unemployed quarterback is unemployed no longer.

ESPN (DIS)announced today that it has hired Tim Tebow to work as a college football analyst on the SEC network it will launch in August. The hire is not a surprise. Last October, this intrepid Tebow reporter speculated that there is “a spot for Tebow in front a camera at ESPN.”

Tebow went on to add a broadcast specialist to his representation at CAA Sports last month, and then came reports of a bidding war for his services. Steve Rosner, a partner at 16W Marketing, a New Jersey agency that represents football announcers, told me at the time that the SEC Network, with occasional appearances on other ESPN shows, seemed the most natural fit for Tebow.

This is precisely what Tebow has decided to do. According the ESPN press release, he will appear regularly on SEC Nation, the new network’s “traveling pre-game show that will originate from a different SEC campus each week,” as well as “contribute to a variety of ESPN platforms.” His first gig comes next week during the BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Florida State on Jan. 6, perhaps to help explain why the SEC dominates college football. The ESPN contract reportedly runs for three years.

Tebow and ESPN are careful to stipulate that this does not signal the end of his playing career. “I continue to pursue my dream of playing quarterback in the NFL,” Tebow wrote on Twitter. “Tebow’s role with ESPN will not preclude him from continuing to pursue playing opportunities in the NFL,” says the ESPN press release. Yes, ESPN’s newest broadcaster joins hundreds of thousands of American men with NFL dreams currently on the not-precluded list.

Boudway is a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

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