If it turns out that Rob Lowe's ``report'' that Peyton Manning will retire is erroneous, we're all going to have a big laugh at his expense. In fact, thanks to Twitter, about 18 million people have already started.
Personally, I never downgrade information because of the perceived legitimacy of the source. Jose Canseco was the best whistle-blower on the steroid era and then there was the time I was working in Dallas...
It was my first full season on a pro beat. I was covering the Dallas Cowboys for the Dallas Morning News. I was at the Cowboys' facility one day when a rumor broke that the Cowboys would trade Herschel Walker, their only big-name player, to the Minnesota Vikings for a bunch of draft picks and players.
Everyone scoffed. Johnson issued a non-denial denial when we asked him about it. We blew it off.
The source was a small-town radio guy in Florida. How could he know what was going on with the Cowboys?
Well, it turned out that the small-town radio guy was friends with someone close to Johnson. Johnson had told the friend, who told the radio guy, and there you had it: The biggest scoop in sports, broken not by a beat writer or NFL insider, but by someone who had the right relationship to gain access to the information.
Also, as several media people have pointed out today, the first person Colts owner Jim Irsay followed on Twitter was Rob Lowe.
I"m not saying Lowe is right. I'm saying that you never know who's going to break a story.
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