In another era, Owen Grosser's magical story would be one that might not make it out of Rochester Hills, Mich.

Now, it's a nationwide sensation.

Grosser, a seventh-grader with Down's Syndrome on the basketball team at Van Hoosen Junior High School, got off the bench for the first time recently and promptly nailed a three-pointer. The crowd went nuts.

A few moments later, Grosser sank another three-pointer.

After the game, the community started a Twitter hashtag -- #GetOwenOnSportsCenter -- in an attempt to secure a spot for Grosser on the Top 10 plays segment. Sure enough, people at ESPN took notice:


And just like that, Grosser's story made it on the nation's biggest sports TV platform.

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One tweet was all it took for a man to earn $8,500, courtesy of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay.

Before the AFC championship game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots this weekend, Irsay challenged his followers to guess the score of the game. If any one of them came within one point of each team, he would send them $8,500.

If that sounds crazy, remember who we're dealing with here. Irsay has made some questionable decisions recently.

So a man named Jason, whose handle is @mikesong, guessed that Baltimore would win, 27-14.


Sure enough the Ravens defeated the Patriots, 28-13. Irsay sent Jason a direct message asking for his address and then FedExed him $8,500 in the mail. The cash was in hundred dollar bills, and it was accompanied by the following note:

Dear Jason,

Congratulations again on winning a Twitter Contest! Enclosed you will find your prize which consists of $8,500.00. Please continue to follow me on Twitter and thank you for your continued support.
Go Colts!

Sincerely,
Jim Irsay

Owner/CEO

In another interesting twist, this story was first discovered by Deadspin on a Phish message board, where Jason was asking whether he would have to pay taxes on the $8,500.

Gotta love the Internet.

(H/T to Deadspin)

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We've learned a lot about Kobe Bryant in his short time on Twitter. For instance, the Los Angeles Lakers star loves referring to himself as "Mamba." He is also kind of corny and incredibly focused, even to a fault.

And thanks to a series of tweets on Monday night, we saw just how torn apart Bryant is by his team's recent losing ways -- and that he has been holding out on us regarding his musical prowess. Who knew the Black Mamba was also the Piano Man?

The Lakers lost to the Bulls in Chicago on Monday, their third consecutive defeat and their ninth loss in their past 11 games. Bryant expressed frustration after the game, and later that night he found a few ways to relieve the stress.

Kobe started at the piano, where he played Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. He told a follower on Twitter that he learned the tune one year ago for his wife, Vanessa. He wrote that it reminds him of, "strength, fragility, joy, love, pain."

Of course, without an audio attachment on his tweet, we'll have to take his word for it that he played Beethoven, or anything at all on the piano. (In this post-Te'o era, everyone is on alert for being faked out via social media.)

After a turn at the keyboard, Bryant headed to the weight room. At this point it must have been well into the morning, as Bryant stayed at the United Center past midnight. Bryant took a photo of himself in the weight room and tweeted an inspirational quote:


As hard as it has been on Bryant, things might get worse if something doesn't change. Los Angeles returns home this weekend for tough matchups against the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder before hitting the road for seven games.

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Kris Humphries continues to be America's punching bag.

The Brooklyn Nets forward and ex-husband of Kim Kardashian regularly takes licks from his former family-in-law on their reality show as well as from Kardashian's new beau, Kanye West, in his songs.

Humphries hasn't had much better luck with fellow NBAers. He brawled with Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo earlier this year, and now a Twitter diss from New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith may top all previous insults hurled at the Nets forward.

Shortly after the Nets topped the Knicks on Monday at Madison Square Garden, Humphries tweeted the following message:


That didn't sit well with Smith, who quickly thought of a clever comeback. And boy did Smith burn Humphries.


Zing!

Now, let's break down Smith's tweet. He is referring to Kanye West's performance during the "12-12-12" concert at Madison Square Garden. West is the father of Kardashian's baby and Humphries is still dealing with the aftermath of a messy divorce. Ouch.

And as it turns out, Smith's tweet blew up on Twitter. In less than 24 hours it has accumulated more than 50,000 retweets.

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A few New Yorkers demonstrated the amazing power of Twitter this week, when their creativity and determination led to a call from Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to their cancer-stricken friend.

Blake Cognata, a 17-year-old from Fairport, New York, has been fighting Ewing's sarcoma since February. The cancer attacks Cognata's bones, and according to his mother, it has reached "just about every bone he has."

After Cognata was taken to the hospital over the weekend, a former Fairport High student named Dylan George wanted to do something to lift Cognata's spirits. George remembered how a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #TebowCallMatt led to a phone call from New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow to a teen who had recently been in an auto accident.

Knowing that Peterson is Cognata's hero, George created a hashtag to try and get Peterson's attention: #APcallblake. George along with another Fairport High graduate, Zack Mentz, got the campaign started on Twitter. It slowly gained momentum, and before long some professional athletes even took notice:


Within 90 minutes, Cognata got a call from Peterson. The star running back spoke with Cognata for about five minutes, asking him about his condition telling him not to give up.


"It was just the most amazing thing," Cognata's mom, Diane Calcagno, told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "He's been glowing all night."

Peterson's uncle and assistant, Chris Brown, confirmed to the Democrat and Chronicle that Peterson did indeed make the call.

"It was on his heart and he just felt he had to do it," Brown said. "If a conversation can bring a little bit of joy, it's the least Adrian can do."

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You can understand why some New England Patriots fans are angry with Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy today.

The longtime Globe writer published a column over the weekend in which he describes how confident he is that the Patriots will beat the Houston Texans on Saturday in the AFC Divisional round. He calls the Texans "fraudulent" and "terrible" in the first three paragraphs.

As if the Texans needed any more motivation for their matchup against the defending AFC Champions, they've got it now.

Texans running back Arian Foster saw Shaughnessy's column on Monday, and before long the Twitter-savvy star had a new avatar.

Here is the introduction to the column, which Foster is now using as his avatar:

The 2012-13 New England Patriots just became the first team in NFL history to get back-to-back byes before advancing to the conference championship game.

Could this get any easier?

I mean, seriously? The planets are aligned and the tomato cans are in place. The fraudulent Houston Texans are the only team standing between the New England Patriots and a trip to the AFC Championship game. All the Patriots have to do is beat the terrible Texans. One week from today. At Gillette Stadium.

Foster may well be the first professional athlete to use a string of newspaper text as his avatar. It is quite the dubious honor for Shaughnessy.


You can read Shaughnessy's full column here.

(H/T to Larry Brown Sports)

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