Governor Says Concussion Did Not Occur While Playing ‘Pokemon Go’

By Dodie Fingerton

Published July 31st, 2016

ALBANY— Gov. Andrew Cuomo is denying reports the head injury he suffered Thursday while walking through the Capitol was the result of an obsession with the wildly popular augmented-reality app Pokemon Go.

“I was not playing on my phone,” the governor told reporters Friday. “I had my head down and I was looking over my DNC speech. Then I hit something hard and the lights went out. I know, dumb, right?”

Cuomo's statement contradicts that of a source close to the administration who told the Smudge that New York's head honcho was hunting virtual Pokemon characters on his iPhone seconds before he walked headfirst into a marble column.

“I was walking to the bathroom when I heard the governor yell, 'There's a Pidgeotto! There's a Pidgeotto!'’” said Ronald Jeezly, the source who spoke to the Smudge on condition of anonymity. “Pidgeotto's are elusive creatures, so I followed him. Then, bam, he hit the wall and crumpled to the floor.”

Jeezly, who admitted he captured the Pidgeotto himself before calling for help, said while Cuomo was lying unconscious on the floor a familiar shiny silver-blue icon began to swirl on his screen.

“Cuomo hit level-22 with that catch,” said Jeezly. “He's a player.”

Since its release earlier this month, Pokemon Go — which allows players to walk around collecting supplies, capturing characters and engaging in Pokemon battles — has taken the mobile-gaming world by storm. Its overloaded servers garnered 100,000-plus downloads on Google's Play store and has topped iTunes charts.

While some praise it for its attempt at improving the mental and physical health of its players, it’s been criticized for causing accidents and for drawing people into dangerous, or private, places in search of imaginary creatures.

“If the governor's playing Pokemon Go on the taxpayers’ dime, that's one thing,” said Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “But I'm more worried he's going to start breaking into homes and business's because he thinks they're Pokestops.”

Cuomo, meanwhile, brushed off reports that he's planning to break his own ban on travel to North Carolina in order to capture a rare Pokemon character called Squirtle, which has been sighted in Asheville.

“Why would I go to North Carolina to capture a Squirtle when there have been plenty of Squirtle sightings in non-transphobic states?” Cuomo asked rhetorically before adding, “Err… um… What I mean to say is, what's a Squirtle?”


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