Victor Cruz

  • Aired:  07/17/12
  •  | Views: 14,892

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz recounts his remarkable story of making the team, connecting with fans and perfecting his signature end zone salsa dance. (5:51)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK!

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A YOUNG WIDE RECEIVER FOR THE NEW YORK GIANTS.

HIS BOOK IS CALLED "OUT OF THE BLUE." TELLS HIS STORY FROM RAGS TO RICHES.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM VICTOR CRUZ.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> NICE TO SEE YOU.

>> Jon: I WAS GOING TO SAY IN THE BEGINNING WITH YOU COMING OUT I WANTED TO SHOW SOME

HIGHLIGHTS BUT THE N.F.L.

CHARGES YOU A LOT OF MONEY.

>> REALLY.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: TO SHOW THAT.

SO IF YOU COULD JUST FOR A MOMENT JUST GIVE ME ONE OF THE... THERE YOU GO!

THAT'S VICTOR CRUZ.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) FOR THOSE OF YOU UNFAMILIAR WITH VICTOR CRUZ, UNDRAFTED OUT OF

THE FOOTBALL POWERHOUSE OF UMASS.

(LAUGHTER)

>> THERE'S SOME UMASS PEOPLE IN HERE.

>> Jon: SOME UMASS PEOPLE.

AND YOU GET A FREE AGENT TRYOUT FOR THE GIANTS.

>> YES.

>> Jon: THIS IS TWO YEARS AGO.

>> TWO YEARS AGO.

>> Jon: NOW THIS IS WHEN I REMEMBER SEEING YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME.

THERE WAS A PRE-SEASON GAME AGAINST THE NEW YORK JETS WHO ARE TRYING.

(LAUGHTER) YOU SCORED THREE TOUCHDOWNS.

YOU HAVE 8,000 YARDS IN RECEIVING.

YOU MAKE THEM LOOK AMATEURISH.

IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST INCREDIBLE GAMES I'D EVER SEEN.

AT THAT MOMENT, DID YOU THINK TO YOURSELF "I THINK I'M GOING TO MAKE THIS TEAM."

>> YEAH, I THINK THAT'S WHEN I KIND OF FLIPPED THE SWITCH AND

WAS LIKE MAN, I THINK I TURNED THAT LEAF OVER AND I THINK I'M GOING TO MAKE THIS FOOTBALL TEAM.

AND THES AFTER SURREAL MOMENT FOR ME.

ESPECIALLY SCORING THOSE TOUCHDOWNS AND I'M LOOKING AROUND AND TONS OF PEOPLE ARE

CHANTING MY NAME.

IT WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST FEELINGS IN THE WORLD.

>> Jon: IT'S CRAZY.

>> CRAZY.

>> Jon: AND NOW EVERY TIME YOU GET THE BALL THE CHANTS OF "CRUZ" GOES OUT.

>> (LAUGHS)

>> Jon: AND IF YOU WEREN'T GREAT IT COULD BE CONSIDERED "BOO." (LAUGHTER)

>> VERY TRUE.

IN FACT, THE FIRST TIME I HEARD IT I'M RUNNING ON THE THE FIELD

AND EVERYBODY SAYING "CRUZ" AND I'M THINKING IT'S BOOS AND I'M

LIKE WHAT DID I DO WRONG?

(LAUGHTER) LIKE IS MY ZIPPER DOWN.

>> Jon: YOU HAVE ZIPPERS?

>> SOME DO.

>> Jon: IS THAT A NEW DEVELOPMENT IN FOOTBALL TECHNOLOGY?

(LAUGHTER)

>> (LAUGHS) NO, SOME OF THE BIGGER GUYS DON'T HAVE ZIPPERS, THEY JUST

HAVE STRETCHY PANTS.

>> Jon: DO THE BIGGER GUYS REFER TO IT AS "STRETCHY PANTS"?

>> JUST ME.

>> Jon: I HAD THE EXPERIENCE OF I THREW OUT A PITCH AT A METS GAME, THAT WAS PLAYOFF GAME AND

ABOUT 40,000 PEOPLE AND I BOUNCED IT.

(LAUGHTER) AND EVERY YELLED "CRUDE!" (LAUGHTER) IT WAS REALLY... IT WAS

INTERESTING HOW THEY WERE ALL FOR YOU.

>> THERE WE GO.

>> Jon: HERE'S WHEN I KNEW YOU WERE FOR REAL, THOUGH.

YOU GOT HURT A LITTLE BIT, YOU CAME BACK THE SECOND YEAR AND YOU DEVELOPED A SALSA MOVE THAT

BECAME YOUR SIGNATURE.

HERE'S WHERE I GAINEDED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF RESPECT NOT JUST AS A PLAYER BUT AS AN INDIVIDUAL.

YOU WERE PLAYING THE SAINTS AND THE SAINTS WERE UP... I DON'T KNOW, 40 POINTS.

THEY WERE HAVING ONE OF THOSE GAMES BUT YOU HAD A GREAT GAME AND YOU SCORED A TOUCHDOWN AND

WHEN YOU GOT INTO THE END ZONE,

RATHER THAN DOING THE DANCE YOU KIND OF HANDED THE BALL OFF LIKE "WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?"

I FELT LIKE THAT SHOW OF MODESTY WAS UNUSUAL.

DID THAT... WERE YOU THINKING OF THAT?

>> UM, HONESTLY, NO.

I WASN'T THINKING OF THE ASPECT OF NOT DOING IT BECAUSE OF THE SCORE.

I WAS JUST THINKING MAN, WE'RE GETTING SMACKED RIGHT NOW.

(LAUGHTER) AND I'M GOING TO LOOK RIDICULOUS IF I DO THE SALSA DANCE.

(LAUGHTER) SO LET ME JUST GO GIVE THE BALL BACK TO THE REF AND SEE WHAT WE CAN DO.

>> Jon: BUT THAT SHOWED ME SOMETHING, THAT YOU WERE THINKING ABOUT THE GAME AND THE

TEAM AND NOT YOURSELF.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) I THOUGHT THAT WAS A WONDERFUL THING.

DOES ELI MANNING WHO IS YOUR QUARTER BACK AND IS JUST TREMENDOUS, DOES HE KNOW OR DOES

HE EVER TALK ABOUT THE IDEA THAT I'M ALSO OPEN?

DOES HE EVER...

(LAUGHTER) DOES HE EVER THINK OF GETTING ME THE BALL?

>> SOMETIMES THE.

>> Jon: WILL HE DO THAT?

FOOTBALL IS... I DON'T KNOW IF PEOPLE REALIZE THE COMPLEXITY THAT IS INVOLVED IN WHAT APPEARS

TO BE A SIMPLE GAME OF BRUTE FORCE.

>> EXACTLY.

>> Jon: FOR EACH ROUTE THAT YOU RUN, HOW MANY DIFFERENT OPTIONS

ARE OFF OF THAT AND WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU HAVE TO RECOGNIZE?

>> OH, MAN, THERE'S THINGS WHERE I'M IN FULL SPEED RUNNING AROUND

AND I HAVE TO LOOK UP AND READ THE COVERAGES AND DEPENDING ON THE COVERS I CAN GO INSIDE,

OUTSIDE, KEEP GOING STRAIGHT,

IT'S A SAFETY FLOW, I KEEP GOING.

THERE'S SO MANY THINGS.

>> Jon: IS IT THE REPETITION YOU DEVELOP WITH THE QUARTER BACK

AND THAT'S HOW YOU BEGIN TO GROW AS A PLAYER?

>> DEFINITELY.

IN PRACTICE WE PRACTICE IT A MILLION TIMES AND YOU START TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH IT, READ

DIFFERENT COVERAGES.

I'M NOW AT THE POINT THAT BEFORE THE BALL IS SNAPPED I KNOW WHAT THE COVERAGE IS GOING TO BE.

>> Jon: THAT'S GREAT.

I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER FOR YOU.

I'M SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU THIS SEASON AND THE WHOLE TEAM.

WE'RE HUGE FANS, WE WISH YOU THE BEST.

PLEASE COME BACK AND SEE US AGAIN.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> Jon: THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

VICTOR CRUZ "OUT OF THE BLUE" IS ON THE BOOKSHELVES NOW.

IT'S A GREAT STORY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

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