June 15, 2021

Victor Cruz Takes Broadway

Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the New York Giants Victor Cruz, wide receiver for the New York Giants Photo Credit: Alexis Williams/What's The 411 Networks

He turned down the invitation to be on Dancing with the Stars, but New York Giants wide receiver extraordinaire Victor Cruz could not pass up an invitation to take his salsa dancing skills to Broadway. Fresh off his stellar performance (10 catches, 142 yards) in the 20-17 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Cruz shuffled his feet at the Modell's Times Square location to the delight of a crowd of Giants fans. He talked about the origin of his touchdown celebration, how exhausted he was after the team clinched the NFC Championship and being part of his very first Super Bowl. Oh, he also gave an example of the dance he hopes to display at some point during the game that will take place February 5th in Indianapolis.

Because high school and college rules prohibited end zone celebrations, Victor Cruz had to wait until he made it to the pros to express his excitement after scoring a touchdown. He caught everyone's attention when he hauled in 3 touchdown passes against the Jets in the 2010 pre-season game. Ironically, he didn't get his salsa on after any of the catches. A hamstring injury sidelined him for the rest of that year. When Steve Smith signed with rival and division foe Philadelphia the following season, Cruz was given another chance to display his talents. The Eagles were the first team to see his moves after he splits two of its defensive backs and scampered 74 yards for the touchdown. The Salsa Shuffle was born.

"My grandmother said I should do a dance when I score a touchdown." He wasn't quite sure if she would like It. "Once I got her approval, I had to keep it." It has taken the city and the NFL by storm.

With the rainy and windy conditions facing both teams in the championship game, it was a little surprising that the Giants offense would put the ball in the air as much as they did. Victor Cruz was Eli Manning's favorite target in the first half. They connected on 8 passes for 125 yards but you could tell he was wearing down as the game went on. He only caught 2 passes for 16 yards in the second half, dragging himself off the turf as the game went on. "I was exhausted," he said. The exhaustion faded the minute Lawrence Tynes 31-yard field goal sailed through the uprights sending the team to the ultimate game. Cruz was seen jumping up and down euphoric in his celebration.

Victor Cruz and his Salsa Shuffle was not part of the New York Giants when they beat the New England Patriots in 2008. He was part of the team that beat them last year when the Patriots were undefeated. Cruz will make it a point to talk to members of that 2008 squad to find out what the next 2 weeks will be all about.

"Come Thursday I will ask guys and get their take on it. How they feel about the game and how they are going to handle everything."

They say familiarity breeds contempt. That said, Cruz doesn't know which team has the advantage given they have played each other as often as they have over the last couple of years.

"We've seen each other a lot. We're very familiar with each other. They understand us well and we understand them well. It's going to come down to who makes the most plays."

Victor Cruz is hoping to do his Salsa Shuffle for the first time this postseason on the biggest stage and the biggest game of his career.

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