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West Side Story

A crazy week in the Bujnoch's home on Cincinnati's West Side just got a little crazier when they heard Monday night that Digger Bujnoch had just signed on to the practice squad of the team that drafted his dad out of Texas A&M in the second round in 1976.

"I think that's a good move for them. Digger can play. He works out all the time and he studies," said the dad, Glenn Bujnoch, and the mom, Susan, noted, "Yeah, it sounds like Whit (left guard Andrew Whitworth) might be out awhile."

If you think they know their football, you're right. Their fourth and youngest child, Austen, has succeeded Digger at left tackle for Elder High School and finds himself in Saturday's state semis.

"I wanted Austen spelled that way," said Glenn Bujnoch, a tried-and-true Aggie. "I didnt want it 'Austin' because that's where (the University of) Texas is."

Bujnoch, a Houston native, made his home in Cincinnati after he played here for seven seasons at guard and met Susan, a Westsider. Even while he was playing he worked in the travel industry ("I'd go into the office on off days," he said) and for the last 16 years his family ran Booj's, a food/catering business that had the Bengals as an occasional client for Friday lunches.

With the family getting older and moving on (Austen is following Digger to the University of Cincinnati), they decided to sell the business. At 54, Bujnoch is looking for another challenge. Right now, he's living the dream.

"There is nothing like watching your kids play. It's great to see your kids do well in sports," Bujnoch said. "Not just sports. Whatever they want to do. Play the piano. Enjoying it and doing the best they can."

Digger, the former UC left tackle at 6-5, 285 pounds, is now a center in following a career path not far from his dad. Except when Paul Brown got his first look at the 240-pound Glenn, he observed, "You're a lot taller and lankier than I thought."

"He's lucky. He got his mother's shoulders," Glenn said. "I had big legs and skinny little shoulders. (Linebacker) Jim LeClair used to call me Tyrannosaurus rex. He's more disciplined than I was as a player. I used to freelance a little more."

Glenn is convinced Digger would have made the Giants if he hadn't sprained his knee late in their last preseason game. Digger hooked on with the defending champs as a free agent after a versatile career at UC in which he played tight end and both tackle spots while becoming a staple on the Big East all-academic team as a finance major.

The brains and the feet (size 18) could be the makings of a pretty good NFL center. The feet are how he got the nickname. His real name is Glenn, too.

"Susan called feet 'diggies,' and when he was born he looked just like me and had these big old feet," Bujnoch said. "I'd look at him and I couldn't call him, 'Glenn.' I started calling him 'Digger.' "

Now they are two Glenns that have both worn striped helmets.

"That's neat," Dad said. "I'm glad he's got another chance."  

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