Philadelphia Eagles rookie defensive end Vinny Curry has never stopped speaking with his mother even following her death.
Almost immediately after Linda “Cissy” Jackson passed away last year from liver cancer at age 50, Curry had her face tattooed on the inside of his right forearm. For Curry, such body art is more than a tribute to her life and memory.
It’s also a conduit to her soul.
“You know how people usually talk to themselves when they’re by themselves? I talk to my arm,” Curry told FOXSports.com. “I know it sounds funny. But I feel like she’s listening because the more I would pray, the more my day would get easier or better.”
Curry has long leaned on his Christian beliefs to pull through tough times. When he was 17, Curry got his first tattoo featuring a cross, bible, two open hands and the phrase, “Only God can judge me.”
“I was having a lot of things with my high school teachers and my grades weren’t right,” Curry said. “I just felt like that at that time nobody could really tell me where or what I could be in life. I thought the only person who could judge me was God.
“I withdrew from high school, went to prep school and the rest is history.”
After getting back on track academically, Curry landed at Marshall University and ended up graduating with a degree in general studies. That’s also where Curry got a tattoo on his right shoulder that reflects his creativity by merging the iconic scene of King Kong battling fighter planes while hanging from a building alongside the school’s logo.
“I thought King Kong would represent me as a beast,” Curry said. “The Marshall (logo) was like the Batman sign telling me, ‘Showtime! We need you!’”
Curry came through for the Thundering Herd, winning Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2011 even while grieving over his mother’s death. The Eagles used a second-round pick on Curry but he has yet to get activated for a game this season.
Among other Curry tattoos are a dove that he says “represents life and death,” a New Jersey Devils logo (“My favorite hockey team,” he said), and the expressions “No Fear” and “No Mercy” alternately stamped on the inside of his biceps.
“It’s the way I play this game,” Curry said. “I just try and be relentless. You can’t be scared and you can’t let up.”
Curry, who plans on having more ink work done at the end of the season, regards tattoos as providing a “timeline” of his life. That means never forgetting his past, including the woman who helped raise him to become the man he is today.
“I just felt like I always wanted to have (my mom) with me when I’m feeling down or things don’t go my way,” Curry said.