EXCLUSIVE: Cassidy Gifford Co-Hosting ET's Super Bowl Coverage With Kevin Frazier


Cassidy Gifford is joining the Entertainment Tonight team -- for a weekend, that is!

The 22-year-old actress will be heading to Santa Clara, California, to help co-host ET's Super Bowl coverage with Kevin Frazier.

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We couldn't think of a better person to do the honors, as her mom, Kathie Lee Gifford, is a host herself and football has played a major role in her life, as her late father, Frank Gifford, was a Hall of Fame football player. After 12 years with the New York Giants, he later switched gears to become a sports commentator.

Cassidy believes that taking on this gig is the perfect way to pay tribute to her dad, who died last August at age 84 from natural causes.

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

"Football, in every capacity, has pretty much been a staple in my house for as long as I can remember," she shares with ET. "I think the only time I ever got to go to the Super Bowl was in 1995, when I was only 2, so I obviously don't remember it very well. But my mom sang the National Anthem and my dad was in the booth broadcasting."

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The matchup between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers will go down at Levi's Stadium, which seats approximately 68,500. Not to mention, millions will be catching the game on TV. Ahead of the big game, Cassidy will be at the center of all the excitement, interviewing broadcasters and players "during the craziness," as she puts it.

"There's just something about that week leading up to the Super Bowl. I don't know if it's the nerves or the competition or the anticipation, but whether or not you're a football fan, you can't really help but be drawn into the excitement," she tells ET, also noting that some of the sportscasters she'll be chatting with are familiar names. "I'm talking to broadcasters like Jim Nantz and Phil Simms and all those guys that my dad actually knew."

Luckily, Kathie has been helping Cassidy prepare!

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"It's so funny, because she's been in this business for upwards of 40 years, and for her it's essentially ingrained in her DNA at this point," she explains to ET, laughing. "I'm an actress, so it's pretty foreign to me, but I'm very aware of the work that goes into it and I have such incredible respect for people like Kevin and my mom."

"As frustrating and as seemingly cliché as it is, my mom's only piece of advice was, 'Just go for it! You'll be great!'" she continues. "I know there has to be something to it, because she knows a thing or two about an audience!"

Seeing as she's a football fan herself, Cassidy says she's had no problem doing her own research, but realized there's a lot to learn.

"I am a die-hard Giants fan, and I actually really like the Patriots, too," she says. "So the Broncos and the Panthers are not necessarily my teams. I've been doing a lot of homework on those teams because it's just so unfamiliar for me."

So who will Cassidy be cheering for on Feb. 7?

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"I'm a big Manning family fan, so I guess I'm rooting for the Broncos if I have to pick one!" she admits. (Eli Manning is a quarterback for the Giants, and his older brother, Peyton Manning, is a quarterback for the Broncos.)

Cassidy also reflected on her memories of her dad's passion for the sport, and the legacy he left behind.

"People just loved him," she says. "My dad was the most humble guy in the world. People would be mobbing to say hi to him and shake his hand. My dad's favorite thing in the world to do was to show his championship ring to, like, 7-year-old guys when he was in a restaurant. They would come up and he would take it off and let them try it on."

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"He just loved to make little kids' dreams come true -- even if they were never going to play," she adds. "He just loved football. That was I think the greatest thing for me to see my dad -- even though he wasn't playing [after I was born] -- to have it be such a part of his path, but in such a humble way for someone [who] had accomplished so much."

Though Cassidy says her dad's passing is "still very fresh," she'll forever be proud of all of his impressive accomplishments and the moments they shared together.

"I miss him so much, but at the end of the day, I had so many incredible memories, and a lot of them are tied to football," she concludes. "So this opportunity with Entertainment Tonight couldn't be more of an exciting opportunity."

Catch Cassidy & Kevin's coverage on Entertainment Tonight next Monday and Tuesday!

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