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Monday, December 31, 2012
Trending: Rock treats mom; Gabby turns 17

By Bill Speros
Special to ESPN.com


From @TheRock via Twitter.



Word of Christmas cheer continued to spread on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday as Dwayne "Rock" Johnson (@TheRock) demonstrated to his 3.78 million Twitter followers and the 7.8 million fans who "like" his Facebook page that it's always better to give than receive. He gave his mom a nice set of wheels -- a white Cadillac -- and said it was inspired in part by some bad childhood memories.

"At 14 I saw my mom crying about our only car being repossessed," Johnson posted. "This felt good."

The three-image collage showing Johnson, his mom, Ata, and her sweet new ride received more than 1.515 million "likes" and 27,000 comments on Facebook and was retweeted more than 15,000 times in the 12 hours after being posted on Sunday.

Well done, son.

Maybe Mom will let "The Rock" use her new SUV when he takes Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald out to dinner. Johnson will be providing Fitzgerald with the free meal courtesy of a bet they made before Cain Velasquez's unanimous-decision victory over Junior Dos Santos in the UFC 155 heavyweight title fight Saturday night in Las Vegas. Fitzgerald, whose season ended with a 27-13 loss to the 49ers, was eager to collect:

I would like to formally thank @cainmma for taking care of a free meal for me courtesy of #teambringit & @therock I owe you #teamvelaquez

— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) December 30, 2012


• 2012 was a big year for Gabrielle Douglas, who won two gold medals in the London Games as member of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team, published an autobiography, completed a national tour with her Fierce Five teammates and did it all at the age of 16. Today she has the perfect way to close out the year, by celebrating her 17th birthday.

Happy birthday @gabrielledoug!! Congratulations on an amazing year! Hope 2013 brings you even more success and happiness. Xoxo

— Nastia Liukin (@NastiaLiukin) December 31, 2012


It was a big weekend for sports birthdays: Tiger Woods (37) and LeBron James (28) both celebrated getting one year older on Sunday.

Happy birthday to my brother @kingjames! 30 is getting closer!!!

— Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) December 31, 2012


• James and Drew Brees were the lone athletes among the 20 celebrities named to the "Celebs Gone Good" list for 2012. Singer Taylor Swift topped the year-end ranking of celebrity philanthropists produced by DoSomething.org, an organization focused on getting teens involved in social change.

"Professional athletes are incredibly influential figures for young people" said Naomi Hirabayashi, chief marketing officer at DoSomething.org. "It's a powerful statement to see popular athletes use their talent to have a positive impact in the lives of cancer patients [through the Drew Brees Foundation] and in youth education [through the LeBron James Foundation]."

Brees' good works include a $1 million donation to aid victims of superstorm Sandy, in addition to his continuous impact with the Drew Brees Foundation. He finished 20th. James, ranked eighth, was lauded for, among other things, his annual "Wheels for Education" program (part of the LeBron James Family Foundation).

ABC "Good Morning America" and former ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor Robin Roberts finished sixth on the list for using "her battle with myelodysplastic syndrome (once called pre-leukemia) to shine a light on bone cancer." Roberts teamed with BeTheMatch.org to spread awareness about bone marrow donation, and her public service announcements resulted in more than 44,000 people joining the registry.

To determine the rankings, DoSomething.org used its research team and an expert panel, which focused on three elements: popularity, influence and impact. Among the factors used were each celebrity's number of Twitter followers and Facebook likes, as well as their IMDB Pro Scores and their Billboard Social 50 ranking.

Bill Speros is an ESPN.COM contributor. He can be reached on Twitter @billsperos or via email at bsperos1@gmail.com.