It may be spicier than the "Super Bowl Shuffle," but for New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, he is hoping it too will end with a victory dance and a hoisting of the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Cruz has made famous a celebratory salsa dance - a tribute to his Puerto Rican heritage with the steps taught to him by his grandmother when he was in middle school. In his second year in the league, Cruz capped off his nine regular-season touchdowns with the little salsa dance, and while he has yet to do a postseason shake — his last touchdown was in Week 17 -- he did get the chance to teach Giants fans how to do his touchdown dance.
At an event at the Modell's Sporting Goods store on Tuesday night at the New York City flagship store on 42nd Street , Cruz shook his groove thing for dozens of fans.
Cruz, who "never took salsa lessons or a class" taught a collection of Giants fans of all ages the same steps that his grandmother gave him — steps he never dared try on the field in high school or college.
"There was no celebratory dancing in high school," Cruz said. "But once you get to the NFL, when you're young watching, you just want to have your own trademark stuff, so I'm fortunate to have something the fans can cling to. It's fun to do."
There are Victor Cruz T-shirts that have begun popping up at the store, once again embracing his salsa driven stardom. Earlier this month, Cruz turned down an opportunity to appear on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" reality show that Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward both appeared on, citing a desire to focus on what is still a fledgling career.
And now with a newborn in his house, he readily admits to adjusting to fatherhood and changing diapers — all as he gets ready for the Super Bowl in two Sundays time against the New England Patriots. Even with a baby girl in the house, Cruz said it will be business as usual even with early morning feedings perhaps interrupting his usual eight hours of sack time.
"I'm just going to go out there and go through the same regimen — throw with Eli [Manning] before the game," Cruz said.
"The Patriots are a good team. They have discipline on both sides of the ball, and it's going to be a challenge for us. But we will be prepared to play a good football game, and it should be a good one."
Follow Kristian R. Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer