5 Minutes with Victor Cruz

June 7, 2012 – After the New York Giants won the Super Bowl in 2007, we published “5 Minutes with” interviews in Yankees Magazine with head coach Tom Coughlin and with quarterback Eli Manning.

In September, we are going to run Q&A features with two stars form the Giants’ 2011 Super Bowl championship team.

I conducted the first of those two interviews last night with wide receiver Victor Cruz, who went from being an undrafted free-agent in 2010 to an all-pro and Super Bowl champion in 2011.

I asked the life-long Yankees fan from nearby Patterson, N.J., what he has enjoyed most about his sudden fame.

“The best thing about becoming an NFL star is being able to have an impact on the community and the people you grew up with,” Cruz said during his first visit to Yankee Stadium. “When you have some success in professional sports, kids look up to you and you become an inspiration to them. In their eyes, you can do no wrong.”

Cruz, who broke the Giants all-time record with 1,536 receiving yards last season, also told me about his signature salsa dance, which he did after each of his nine touchdowns.

“It came from my grandmother,” Cruz said. “She taught me how to dance. One of my coaches came up to me when I was getting ready for my first start, and he said, ‘You should do something to represent your Puerto Rican culture. That’s how I came up with the dance, which has grown into its own entity now.”

–Alfred Santasiere III

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