Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks, Feb. 2, 2014

The Fantastic Rob Lowe/Peyton Manning Twitter Spectacle

The greatest Twitter conflagration ever

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    In this image released by NBC, presenters Rob Lowe and Julianne Moore appear during the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/NBC, Paul Drinkwater)

    Did you abstain from surfing the Internet yesterday in your own personal little SOPA protest? Oh, did you miss a happening. First, Mark Wahlberg said he would have prevented 9/11 with his goatee. Then, Rob Lowe went on Twitter and blew up the universe by announcing that Colts QB Peyton Manning was going to retire.

    Hearing my fave, #18 Peyton Manning will not return to #NFL. Wow. #Colts

    People, this was arguably one of the greatest moments in the history of Twitter. Forget about toppling the Egyptian dictatorship. Twitter was custom made for this: A completely random celebrity issuing a sports rumor and causing a sustained 24-hour online reaction that featured 50,000 "Parks & Recreation" jokes, real concerns as to whether Lowe was right, and "Deep Throat" jokes from Colts owner Jim Irsay.

    My sources tell me Rob will star in an epic remake of "Deep Throat" with aging porn stars and 4 finger circus clowns!

    The best part is that Lowe actually does know a lot about the Colts. He's been photographed with Irsay. He's a Colts fan. He even acts on a show that is set in Indiana and features Chris Pratt rocking a Reggie Wayne jersey. That's just enough of a connection to the Colts to make all this sound TOTALLY PLAUSIBLE. In fact, the fact that the rumor came from Lowe instead of Mort or some other bozo at ESPN made it all the more credible. WHY WOULD ROB LOWE BE LYING ABOUT PEYTON MANNING? IT'S JUST CRAZY ENOUGH TO BE TRUE!

    That's what makes Twitter so great. As a news source, it's breathtakingly unreliable. People die on Twitter all the time (KANYE). Rumors get started out of nothing, from no one in particular. But the fun thing about it is that it allows you to believe such rumors for a fraction of a second. It gives you the freedom to turn your world upside down and live, just for a moment, in an alternate world where Charlie Sheen has died and Peyton Manning can no longer play football. And when a Twitter rumor does come true, it feels like you just won the Lottery. THEY WERE RIGHT! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!

    So enjoy the baseless speculation and the quick death of proper journalism that Twitter has provided us all. It's not better than real reporting. It's just way more fun.