Fashion Man

With the season-ending injury to special teams ace Heath Farwell, much more is going to be expected of linebacker Vinny Ciurciu, who, like Farwell, is a top special teams player and expected to see more time at linebacker with the Vikings defense. But he has another interest that is becoming part of his professional resume - a fashion mogul.

Vinny Ciurciu has a full plate these days. Not only is he expected to be the team's top special teams player with Heath Farwell lost for the season, he's also expected to get more field time with the linebackers on the Vikings defense. If that wasn't enough, Ciurciu is branching out into the business world, as he and his brother are launching a workout apparel company called Anger Sports. The company will specialize in sportswear geared for athletic workouts and casual clothing and, while football is his primary vocation, being a clothier is also on his working agenda.

"We're still in the beginning stages," Ciurciu said. "We're getting a website going now and we have some T-shirts and some shorts that are what we're going to be pushing initially. It's going to take a little more time before we're completely up and running, but we're on the right path now."

Anger Sports was the brainchild of Ciurciu's brother, John, several years ago, but it has been an entrepreneurial venture that has been shelved a couple of times only to be revisited and, after almost a decade, ready to get off the ground.

"My brother came up with the idea a long time ago," Ciurciu said. "It was one of those things that financially, he didn't have the money to make it fly. It got put on the back burner a couple of times since then. Now that I've got a little more money, I got my hands in it and we're excited about getting it going."

Ciurciu said the target audience for his apparel will be athletes at all levels of competition. The clothing is comfortable and able to withstand the rigors of intense workout sessions. They already have their signature item – a T-shirt that lets everyone know that real athletes are hard to find.

"One of our main shirts says ‘Rare Breed,'" Ciurciu said. "It's specifically for athletes – professional, college or high school. Not everyone can be an athlete, so you have to be a rare breed. That's where we got the idea."

But before Ciurciu becomes the next Sean Combs of the clothing industry, he has on-field work to tend to. With Farwell gone for the year, Ciurciu said much more is going to be expected of him and it may well take more than one player to fill the special teams shoes that Farwell leaves behind.

"You never want to see one of your teammates go down," Ciurciu said. "But now we need some of the younger guys to step up and pick up the slack. Heath is a great special teams player and he will be missed. But it creates opportunities for other guys to impress the coaches and hook on with the team."

While opportunities will open for other players on special teams, Ciurciu will likely assume the role of special teams captain. It was what made him his bone with the Panthers and one of the main reasons the Vikings signed him as a free agent.

"Special teams is how I made my career, so it means a lot to me," Ciurciu said. "It's balls-to-the-walls out there. You have to give all you've got and make plays."

Ciurciu said he expects his role with the team – both on special teams and the defense – will increase with the loss of Farwell. He expects to see more playing time and have more demands placed on his time. With that increase, he may have to put being a fashion mogul on hold temporarily.

"Football has been and always will be my top priority," Ciurciu said. "It's fun to do outside things like my brother and I doing with Anger Sports. But those things can wait. John can handle that part of the business. I've got a job to do here and that's my top priority right now."

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