Rob Lowe Peyton Manning

January 20, 2012 by staff 

Rob Lowe Peyton Manning, This is how it always goes in the NFL: One day, you’re the best quarterback in the history of football. The next, Rob Lowe is announcing to his Twitter followers that you’re about to retire.

That really happened to Peyton Manning on Wednesday, taking his lost season with the Colts from sad to absurd. Suddenly, in the middle of a slow NFL news day, the following tweet pops up on monitors everywhere:

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

Which raised several questions: Rob Lowe has Twitter followers? Did the guy who played Billy Hicks in “St. Elmo’s Fire” really scoop the world on the biggest story in the NFL? And would this lead us into a strange world where we’d trust Ally Sheedy more than Adam Schefter for football news?

It was all anybody talked about for an hour, not that Peyton’s brother noticed. Eli Manning was dealing with his own gastric distress, hoping an untimely 24-hour bug would not cause him to miss a second practice (panic averted — he looked and felt fine today).

“I haven’t heard about that,” Eli Manning said, and THE look on his face made you wonder if he was talking about the false retirement story, or Twitter, or Rob Lowe. Or all three.

Whatever. The point is this: If Eli needed a reminder that the end to an NFL career often comes with no warning whatsoever — for even the great ones — he can find it in his own family.

The Rob Lowe “report” was widely panned and refuted. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that Peyton Manning’s future, after three neck surgeries in 19 months, is very much in doubt.

He’s 35. The Colts, with the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft, will almost certainly take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. There’s no telling where Peyton might end up next season — even Jets owner “>Woody Johnson wouldn’t rule out pursuing him today — or how he’ll play when he gets there.

His younger brother, meanwhile, is in the prime of his career. Still, he’s spent enough time in the NFL locker room to know how quickly the end can come. He saw it last summer when two of his best friends, center Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert, were gone as soon as the lockout ended.

“I think we’re reminded every year how fortunate we are to play this game and how quickly it can slip away,” Eli Manning said after practice today. “Whether it’s an injury, whether it’s one of your teammates who gets let go, you never know when your last play might be.”

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