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The Caw: Bernard Pollard Launches His Own App

The Ravens safety wanted to find a safer way to play the card game Bourre.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink, The Caw

Behind the steely, trash-talking exterior of safety Bernard Pollard is a totally different person.

“A lot of people don’t know that I’m kind of a geek,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Pollard has wanted to design a video game since his youth, when he watched his father take apart and rebuild computers. Pollard even studied computer technology at Purdue University.

On Friday, Pollard’s childhood dream finally launched. His card-game app, Bourre, is now available on the iPhone, iPad and iTouch for $1.99.

The idea stems from Pollard watching athletes play Bourre in their spare time. But one thing Pollard didn’t like was how much cash he saw exchanging hands.

While Pollard said he only plays for candy, he’s seen wagers of up to $80,000.

“It’s one of those games where you can either win big or you’re going to lose big,” Pollard said.

In Pollard’s game, users wager fake electronic money.

“I wanted to make it safe,” Pollard said. “When you’re talking about gambling and that much money changing hands, anything can happen. I wanted to come out with something where you can have fun on an app and not have to gamble money. You can just play for fun.”

Pollard discovered there was no app for the card game last Dec. 23, on his birthday, when talking with family members.

He immediately got in touch with a friend from his days with the Houston Texans, running back Ryan Moats. Back in 2009, while the two were playing the “NCAA Football” video game together, the two looked at each other and said, “Man, let’s make a game someday.”

Moats, who hasn’t played an NFL game since that time, worked a lot with EA Sports on the Madden series and now has his own company, Moatsworks Studios.

While Pollard fronted the money for the app and gave Moats the vision for how he wanted it to look, he backed off and let Moats execute the plan.

“It’s big to be able to show people that football is not the only thing we are capable of,” Pollard said. “We are capable of other things.”

Bourre is quickly taking over the Ravens locker room. Pollard says more than 30 teammates have downloaded it and are playing with each other.

Yesterday, tight end Dennis Pitta came to Pollard with a bunch of questions as he tries to learn the game. Since he’s out with a broken hand, Pitta’s had some time to play.

“It’s really cool to be honest,” Pitta said. “It’s similar to the game of hearts, which I’ve played a lot. I’m learning, but the app is great. It looks cool, it’s really well done.”

The app has a 4 1/2-star rating in the app store as of this morning. I downloaded it and must say, it’s pretty darn slick and mildly addicting.

For players looking to challenge Pollard, the Ravens safety’s username is: b33nutz. So download the game and take him on.

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