Like a lot of kids, defensive end Vinny Curry idolized Michael Jordan and Hulk Hogan. But he was a football player, and he absolutely worshipped Ricky Watters as he grew up in Neptune, N.J., near Asbury Park. Surrounded by Giants and Jets fans, he became an Eagles fan.
Imagine his delight, then, upon begin drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2012 draft, and imagine his elation when the Eagles signed him to a 5-year, $47.25 million contract extension in 2016, and his ecstasy at winning a Super Bowl ring for his favorite team after the 2017 season.
That joy soured when, a few weeks later, the Eagles released Curry for salary-cap purposes, and he signed with Tampa Bay. But the Bucs cut him, too, and the Eagles signed Curry as a free agent in March to a one-year, $2.25 million deal.
Happily back in the nest, Curry sat down this week and discussed his varied obsessions: basketball sneakers, professional wrestling, the New York Knicks, and The Process.
Aw, man, yeah. Ever since Hulk Hogan. You remember? He’d say, “Eat your vitamins. Say your prayers. Eat your vegetables.” That whole Popeye era. I listened to him. Ultimate Warrior, too. Of course, Michael Jordan, too. I looked up to all those guys.
That was the best part of being in Tampa. So many wrestlers live there. It’s like the mecca of wresting.
I don’t think I’d wrestle when I retire, but I’d love to be a referee. Listen, there’s a lot of pressure on those referees. But a guy my size? Six-three, 280? People would be like, “Hell, he’s bigger than the wrestlers.”
I know most people my age and older are going to say Bernard King, and I get that. But I’m going with Pat. I have to. So underrated.
Really, for me as a kid, I know I said it was Hulk Hogan and Michael Jordan, but I was going to say Patrick Ewing, too. People might not understand that. But growing up where I did, that’s all people plastered everywhere.
Me and my boys could name the whole squad: Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, Chris Childs, Charlie Ward, John Starks, Anthony Mason. You knew who everybody was.
Absolutely. Being that I’ve been a part of the Eagles since then — and I’ve always loved Allen Iverson, so I’ve followed the Sixers — I definitely trust the process. They have a phenomenal team. A phenomenal organization. They’re doing great.
Don’t get me wrong: I root for the Sixers, but at the end of the day, the Knicks are family.
Matthew McConaughey. The lead, man. He played that role to make it feel like we were part of something.
You know the history of Marshall, but after watching that movie and really paying attention to it, that helped spark me to be who I was when I got there.
The best? My home in Jersey. The best part of my house is the basement. I go down there, watch TV, got a big saltwater fish tank: six yellow tangs, two purple tangs, a gem tang, and a couple corals. Just relax, watch them swim.