Victor Cruz considers dance sacred

Updated: October 10, 2012, 9:11 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Victor Cruz said if Carlos Rogers plans to do another salsa imitation dance, he will consider it an insult.

The New York Giants wide receiver celebrates his touchdowns with a salsa dance to honor his grandmother, Lucy Molina, who recently passed away at 77. She taught him how to dance and the touchdown dance was something she loved.

[+] EnlargeVictor Cruz
Al Bello/Getty ImagesVictor Cruz celebrates a touchdown with his signature salsa dance.

During last year's 27-20 loss at San Francisco, Rogers mimicked the dance after intercepting an Eli Manning pass intended for Cruz.

"It's just something that I do for my grandmother," Cruz said on a conference call with San Francisco writers. "It's something that's sacred to me, it's something that's due to her passing. Before she passed away, it was something dear to me.

"Why I do it is for her because she told me she loved it so much, and she taught me how to do it and all of that put together. Knowing that, it's just a little slap in the face."

Rogers said earlier this week that he respects Cruz and admits he is a fan of the Giants receiver's salsa celebration. But the 49ers cornerback also said he may do another salsa dance of his own again if he makes a play on Cruz.

"I like the dance, actually," Rogers said, according to the Sacramento Bee. "I really can't do it as good as him but if I make a play or get an interception on him in my mind, just do his dance."

But after Rogers was told that Cruz's dance was a tribute to his grandmother, the cornerback said he didn't know that and said it "definitely" alters his view, according to the San Jose Mercury-News.

Cruz wrote in his book "Out of the Blue" that he would not forget Rogers' imitation last year.

"I obviously won't be OK with that," Cruz said when asked if Rogers might do it again on the conference call. "But it is what it is. He's going to choose what he wants to do. I'm not going to try to retaliate or go crazy. That's not me. But it obviously won't sit well with me, as I've stated in the past."

The last time the two met, Cruz torched Rogers and the Niners for 10 receptions for 142 yards in the NFC Championship Game. Cruz had eight catches for 125 yards at halftime alone.

"I can't cover no option route all day," Rogers is heard saying on sideline microphones on NFL Network's Sound FX. "Like, if I go inside, the man runs outside."

Cruz said he saw that video and smiled.

"I just knew at the time I was getting the better of him," Cruz said. "And I guess he decided to voice how he felt on the sideline.

"He wasn't saying anything to me during the game. I could tell by his mannerisms -- every time I caught a ball, he would clap his hands and stress out a little bit. I assume it was the first half because that was when the rain of catches started coming."

Cruz and Rogers aren't the only ones who will be reunited in San Francisco on Sunday. Wide receiver Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs also will see their old teammates for the first time since joining the Niners in free agency.

"I'm going to go and play my butt off," Manningham said. "Do I have a grudge? No. But am I motivated? Yeah. I am motivated by every game, especially this game. Who wouldn't be motivated by their old team?"

Manningham said he will share whatever knowledge he has on the Giants with the Niners.

"Oh yeah, no question," Manningham said. "I talk to the DBs and talk to my teammates and let them know to give them heads up on what is going to happen here. Things like that.

"I know what is going on. Yeah, I share it with them."

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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