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Lions’ Larry Warford won’t play Pokemon Go, calls it ‘mind-control stuff’

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Detroit Lions guard Larry Warford was among the estimated 75 million individuals who have downloaded Pokemon Go. But after giving the “location-based augmented reality app” a brief shot, Warford decided to stop playing it altogether over concerns Pokemon Go involved “mind-control stuff.”

Warford was in Arizona at the time the app was released in July. He immediately downloaded it and began playing, even enjoying some modest success. But something rubbed him the wrong way about the game, and seeing other people playing it confirmed to Warford it wasn’t for him.

“I’ll tell you why I stopped playing it,” Warford said Monday, via the Detroit Free-Press’ Carlos Monarrez. “I was walking down Mill Avenue in Tempe, Ariz., pretty much on (Arizona State’s) campus. … I was walking down and literally everyone that was on their cell phone walking down that same street was playing Pokemon Go. I was looking at their screens and it was about 30, 40 people walking down Mill (Avenue).

“It was a bunch of people playing it and I was like, ‘I don’t like this.’ I deleted it because I was like, ‘This is some mind-control stuff.’ I don’t like it.”

Lions head coach Jim Caldwell — like many folks unfamiliar with the craze — has been left utterly confused by Pokemon Go and has no plans to investigate it any further.

“No,” Caldwell said. “I’m certainly not going to get into it in the future, either. I’ve seen all the reports. I have no idea exactly how it works. I haven’t had time to think about that aspect. I’ll leave it up to you.”

Hardly a day goes by when some report or another — sometimes disturbing, often ridiculous — emerges concerning the obsessive manner in which people have taken to playing Pokemon Go. Just don’t expect Warford to be among the quasi-zombie-like players.

“Yeah, it’s popular,” he said. “But I don’t like it. Something’s not right.”