Soon-to-be-released football simulation game Madden NFL 24 made sure to retain a very important detail on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes: his tongue. That’s what she said, or whatever.
Like his dad, former professional baseball player Pat Mahomes, Mahomes Jr. has become known for poking his tongue through his teeth and out the corner of his mouth while throwing, running, and all-around playing ball. NFL 24 apparently keeps Mahomes’ character model accurate by having it do the same tongue stuff, screenshots Operation Sports founder Steve Noah posted to Twitter indicate.
Yep, that pink ounce of Frostbite engine flesh looks like Mahomes’ tongue to me. I would know—one of the, approximately, four-and-a-half times I’ve ever watched American football, I noticed Mahomes’ habit and asked my boyfriend, “Ew, what’s he doing with his tongue?” He unhelpfully replied, “That’s just what he does with his tongue.”
More usefully, Science posited earlier this year that “tongue protrusions may improve the accuracy of [Mahomes’] hand movements.” You might know, anecdotally, that amphibians like salamanders send their tongues flying toward prey, but studies have indicated that mammals like mice also jab out their tongues when readying to grab a tasty snack with their paws. Researchers wonder if humans’ dexterity is likewise linked to their squishy mouth muscles.
“I think it is the center of our being, as crazy as that might seem,” University of Lethbridge neuroscientist Ian Whishaw told Science about the tongue.
I’m sure that Madden developer EA Sports took all of this into careful consideration when adapting Mahomes to its video game. In any case, you can see more of the center of Mahomes’ being when NFL 24 officially releases on PC and console on August 18 (its Early Access period is already underway).