Student combines love of feet with love of football

Podiatry student Richard Bruno with the used ankle cast. | COURTESY Richard Bruno
Podiatry student Richard Bruno with the used ankle cast. | COURTESY Richard Bruno

Rich Bruno found an unusual and expensive way to combine his love of the Washington Redskins and feet.

As a second-year podiatry student at Temple and lover of all things feet-related, Bruno saw the light of fanatical bliss when the ankle cast of Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III went up for auction. The auction took place online for Griffin’s foundation, called Family of 3, which helps people “reach their dreams” through networking.

Bruno’s grandfather, who hails from Northern Virginia, instilled Redskins fandom in Rich at a young age.

“My grandfather was raised a Redskins fan, and he actually joined the Navy and was displaced up to Philadelphia, but what mattered to him was that I was raised a Redskins fan above all else,” Bruno said.

Bruno has amassed an impressive collection of football memorabilia, from autographed helmets and jerseys and every kind of collectible in between.

Bruno, an Upper Darby native, said the bidding for the cast started at $300, and the auction, which ran for a month, ended on Feb. 13 at 6 p.m.

“I watched it like a hawk the whole time,” Bruno said. “I was in the passenger seat with my grandfather when I won, and I got so hype that I had to make Snapchat videos of it. My grandfather was happy but nowhere near my level of bliss.”

There were a number of other Redskins aficionados moved by their enthusiasm of D.C. sports teams to bid on the cast, but in the end, Bruno’s final bid of $1,522 proved enough to secure the plaster cast for his collection.

Bruno said at the last second, another fan placed a bid of $1,510, adding that “there’s somebody out there crazy like me.”

The Redskins won the NFC East division in 2012 with Griffin under-center.

“If you give me a division title after 12 years of nothing, it’s hard not to find love at first sight,” Bruno said of Griffin.

The cast, which is currently being fitted for a case, will be housed in the School of Podiatry for others who share Rich’s passion. The case is a good idea, considering the city’s distaste for the Philadelphia Eagle’s competitors.

When Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post asked Bruno whether the cast would smell upon its arrival, Bruno quipped, “Probably. The worse it smells, the happier I am, because that makes it more unique.”

“Some people have RGIII game-worn jerseys, and they’re stained or whatever,” he added. “I might have his foot stink. That’s special to me.”

Colton Shaw can be reached at colton.shaw@temple.edu.

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