Rob Lowe Defends Peyton Manning Retirement Tweet During 'Ellen' Appearance (Video)
Parks and Recreation actor and longtime football fan Rob Lowe tweeted Wed. Jan. 18 that he heard a rumor from his "people" that NFL star Peyton Manning, quaterback of the Indianapolis Colts, was retiring due to his 2011 season-ending neck injury.
Though Lowe did not confirm his source, the actor has been pictured in the past with Bob Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts. Veteran NFL reporters quickly shot down the rumor, but not before others retweeted the news, poking fun at Lowe. In addition to the numerous retweets, the exchanged quickly prompted the hashtag #robloweisreporting to start trending on the popular social media site.
Lowe discussed the incident during a taping of The Ellen Degeneres Show set to air Thurs. Jan. 19. Proclaiming himself "a huge, huge, huge, huge Peyton Manning," he said he was just "a regular guy ... tweeting that I heard this might be in the offing." Lowe seemed geniunely surprised by the reaction. "You learn the power of Twitter. That's a powerful, powerful medium," he says.
Host Ellen DeGeneres pressed Lowe about whether he had any inside information. But Lowe jokingly deflected: "I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you."
The original controversy started with Lowe's first tweet:
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) January 18, 2012
NFL reporters Chris Mortensen of ESPN and Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network immediately shot down the rumor. Mortensen spoke with Manning's father the Hall of Fame quarterback Archie Manning and LaCanfora spoke with Manning agent Tom Condon:
Lowe's reporting sparked an internet frenzy, including ribbing from others in Hollywood. Among those tweeting about the incident were fellow West Wing actor Josh Malina:
Ran the Rob Lowe Peyton Manning tweet past Manning's agent, Tom Condon, a little while ago. Was first he'd heard of it and said if ...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 18, 2012
Lowe's tweet also sparked the creation of the hashtag #robloweisreporting, including comments about LeBron James, Molly Ringwald, and the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) debate:
Today, Rob Lowe announced Peyton Manning's retirement and Mark Wahlberg announced he could have stopped 9/11. Your move, Liam Neeson.— Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) January 18, 2012
Exclusive: Molly Ringwald Refuses To Confirm Or Deny Rob Lowe's Report That Peyton Manning Is Retiring deadspin.com/5877307/— Deadspin (@Deadspin) January 18, 2012
#RobLoweisreporting that SOPA will be passed and the end of the world is upon us.— Kevin D Brown (@kbrownfox) January 19, 2012