You may have seen various news outlets sounding the alarm about the so-called rise of something called the “Knockout Game,” wherein miscreant youths roam the streets, looking for random innocents (just like you!) to punch in the face. Kids these days. Despite the many reports, all citing troubling anecdotes from the area, police aren’t so sure that this thing actually is a thing. From The New York Times:

And in New York City, police officials are struggling to determine whether they should advise the public to take precautions against the Knockout Game — or whether in fact it existed. “We’re trying to determine whether or not this is a real phenomenon,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said on Friday. “I mean, yes, something like this can happen. But we would like to have people come forward and give us any information they have.”

Police are hesitant to rule the idea of an actual organized game out, but they also point out that there’s been absolutely no marked rise in random violence, and several stories pitched as “The Knockout Game” ended up being robberies. They have also suggested that the media paranoia may have actually brought the game into existence …