When the New York Giants lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the regular season last year, 49ers defensive back Carlos Rogers snared a pair of interceptions. He also broke out a mock version of Victor Cruz's salsa dance, which Cruz did not like.
A couple of months later, the two teams met in the NFC championship game, and Cruz got a measure of revenge, to the tune of 10 receptions for 142 yards ‒ most of them in front of Rogers.
The two of them will meet again on Sunday, and Rogers first said he was hoping to give Cruz another look at his imitation salsa dance.
"I like the dance, actually. If I make a play or an interception, in my mind, I'll say 'Just do his dance,' " Rogers said.
Cruz made it pretty clear that he doesn't want to see that.
"I obviously won't be OK with that," Cruz said. "But it is what it is — I'm not going to try to retaliate or go crazy. That's not me. But obviously it won't sit well with me as I've stated before."
The dance is a tribute to his grandmother, Lucy Molina, who passed away less than a month ago. He considers the dance to be "sacred" and said for anyone to mock it is a "slap in the face."
Rogers, given this information, then changed his plans.
Later, Cruz's words were passed along to Rogers in the 49ers' locker room. The Pro Bowl cornerback told the Bay Area News Group that he was unaware of the inspiration behind Cruz's celebration and that it "definitely" changed his plans to mimic Cruz's moves.
Hopefully these guys can also make time for some football, too.
When Cruz eventually got around to that subject, he mentioned he wouldn't mind seeing a lot of Rogers in coverage again.
"Hopefully I expect the same thing I got last year, a lot of Carlos Rogers on me and the usual things," Cruz said, "and hopefully I can do some of the same things I did last year."
I'm a little torn on this one. Not on the issue of who will get the better of the Cruz/Rogers matchup ‒ Rogers can't handle Cruz one-on-one ‒ but the issue of the end zone dance. It may be a tribute to his grandmother, and I respect that, but it's still an end zone dance. If I get beaten at something, be it Xbox, Monopoly, bar trivia or Go Fish, I'm not going to like it when someone dances in my face afterward. I don't think it's unreasonable to want to dance back if the opportunity presents itself.
I think that's probably enough today on the subject of dancing and football. The 49ers host the Giants at 4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday in the most tantalizing game of the season thus far.