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It's playoff season, and tensions are running high among NFL fans -- as Rob Lowe just learned the hard way! The Parks & Recreation actor sent Indianapolis Colts fans into a panic Wednesday after tweeting a rumor that their star player, Peyton Manning, was retiring.
"Hearing my fave, #18 Peyton Manning will not return to #NFL. Wow," Lowe wrote on Wednesday. "My people are saying Manning will retire today. What do you hear?"
He followed those tweets up with this one: "Colts fans, let's hope my info is wrong. Don't like being wrong, but this time... I'm hoping."
Lowe's simple tweets sent sports journalists and football fanatics into a frenzy. Why? Because Lowe is known to be friends with Colts owner Jim Irsay, and therefore might have access to inside information. Plus he's no dummy when it comes to sports; as The Washington Post's Tracee Hamilton points out, he's made some correct calls before (like identifying Tim Tebow's cartilage injury right away).
Fortunately for Indiana fans, it appears that Lowe was off the mark this time. ESPN's Chris Mortensen contacted Peyton's father Archie Manning, who reportedly laughed at the rumor.
"Nooo... he ain't retiring. I think he would've told me," Archie told Mortensen, (as posted on Mortensen's Twitter account).
Peyton's manager also denied the report, telling the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora that Manning's imminent retirement was "news to him."
As for Lowe, he said on Thursday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he's "a regular guy who has his opinions," and that he didn't realize his tweet would be taken so seriously. Nonetheless, he's now become the sports world's favorite punchline (this week, at least). And no one's more embarrassed than his kids!
"Manning news.... (Facepalm) #ReallyDad," his son Matthew Lowe tweeted at his famous dad. But Matthew couldn't stay mad at his pops. "It's okay dad, Johnny and I still love you even if you did stir up the twittersphere," he added.
Speaking of Rob Lowe and rumors, there's a story going around that Lowe may be offered Regis Philbin's former hosting slot on Live with Kelly. May we suggest that he try for Sports Center instead?