Vinny Curry is a homebody. He likes his Jersey Shore stomping grounds and, appropriate for the Garden State, various shades of green. Here are six things you might want to know about the Jets' newly signed ninth-year defensive lineman.
Curry loves his Neptune, NJ, hometown and his home shore area so much that he's given back to the community in many of the late springs/early summers he's been in the area. We may have lost count but in his first six seasons with the Eagles, he staged three one-day football camps for kids from kindergarten to eighth grade at his alma mater, Neptune HS.
Then after a year with Tampa Bay, Curry returned to the Eagles for the 2019 season. As a pro he had always trained at Local Gym and Fitness in Ocean City, NJ, south of Atlantic City, and in '19 he brought his fourth camp to the Ocean City HS field right on the Atlantic Ocean.
"I'm out on this field all the time," Curry said. "I always see the kids playing football. I just wanted to do something special and bring it down to Ocean City."
Curry has lost people near and dear to him. His mother, Linda "Cissy" Jackson, died of liver cancer during his senior season at Marshall University. He wears a tattoo of his mom on his forearm, and in 2016 he donated $200,000 to the Big Green Scholarship Foundation in part to endow a scholarship in his mother's name.
And two years ago, he took a while to re-sign with the Eagles, he said in a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, due to the death of his older half-brother, Gerald Glisson, from COVID-19.
Glisson, 46, was a football player at Delaware State who was "all-world at football and basketball" as far as Vinny was concerned. At the time of his passing, he was a married father of two who served as principal of operations at Eastside High in Paterson, NJ, not far from the Jets' Florham Park training facility.
"The passing of my brother has been hard on me," Curry said at the time. "I just thought I should take my time with [signing]. I didn't even think about the game, honestly. But I started to get the itch."
Rock 'n' Roll High School
You can call Neptune High at the Jersey Shore a rockin' institution, and not just because of the pro football players who graduated from there, such as Curry, DB Nate Ramsey, CB Cory Nelms, WR Keith Kirkwood and original 49ers HB-DB Joe Vetrano, not to mention pro wrestler Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow.
Another famous Neptune product is John Lyon, a.k.a. Southside Johnny, who usually fronts his band, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes.
And while Bruce Springsteen didn't go to Neptune, he came out of Freehold HS in Monmouth County, Curry's home county, and "the Boss" got one of his early E Street Band members from Neptune in drummer Vini Lopez, who backed Bruce from 1968-74.
Going to the Mats
It's reasonable to assume Curry knew about Bam Bam Bigelow, even though the two were separated by almost three decades at Neptune. But Curry is a wrestling fan and confirmed for philadelphiaeagles.com that his favorite pro wrestler is Ric Flair.
And Curry has brought one of Flair's mantras — "To be the man, you gotta beat the man" — with him each year he's played football. Not long after signing a long-term extension with the Eagles in 2016, he applied that philosophy to winning the starting DE job on the Birds' line. His 19 starts in 2017 included three playoff games, one of them in the Super Bowl LII win over New England. It was the only time in his first nine NFL seasons that he was a full-time starter.
When it came time to select a uniform number as the new second-round rookie member of the Eagles in 2012, Curry had to give up the 99 he wore at Marshall, since Philadelphia had retired the double-9's in 1992, a little more than two months after the death of Jerome Brown, their Pro Bowl DT, in a car accident.
Curry moved to an open number that seemed promising in No. 75. Then he found out that 75 people were lost in the tragic Marshall football charter flight in 1970. Curry has worn the number in honor of the deceased every year he's been an Eagle. As a Jet, his number is not determined yet but T Chuma Edoga currently wears 75.
Curry had a colorful explanation for the teams he's played for since college and for his return to the Birds after a year away. After all, Jets fans will remember from Chad Pennington's days that Marshall's colors are green and white, while the Eagles' tints are midnight green, black and silver.
"When you bleed green as much as I do, it was an easy decision," he told OCNJdaily.com during a break in his Ocean City camp. before leading the fans and parents at the camp in a few "E! A! G! L! E! S!" chants.
We can see Curry adapting well to the location of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center (almost as far to the northwest of Neptune HS as Lincoln Financial Field is to the southwest) and to the Jets' Gotham Green, Stealth Black and Spotlight White threads. Not to mention "J! E! T! S!"
See the Best Photos of the Former Eagles Defensive End and Jets Free Agency Signing