You wouldn’t expect a coach on a Tom Coughlin staff to encourage players to dance in the end zone after scoring a touchdown, but, according to Victor Cruz, you’d be wrong.
Cruz, who is on a major publicity tour right now to promote a memoir about his one full NFL season, told Mike Francesa of WFAN that former Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan told him to celebrate his touchdowns by salsa dancing. Cruz said that Sullivan, now Tampa’s offensive coordinator, pushed him to do it before the team’s Week Three game against the Eagles so that he could represent his Puerto Rican heritage.
“We always had conversations like that and he was like man you gotta do it. I told him yeah to get him out of my face and we could continue practice and then right before the game he looked at me at that point and was like you gotta do it,” Cruz said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “I was like alright coach. Low and behold early in the game I catch a pass and I am going down the sideline and I am about at the 5-yard line and in my head I am like man I gotta do this dance now. I put the ball down and I just started dancing. I got really into it once I started doing it and it kind of took a life of its own after that.”
If you’re doubting how much a touchdown dance could take on a life of its own, just go back a couple of paragraphs and remind yourself that Cruz is promoting a book right now. Catching 82 passes for 1,536 yards as an undrafted player for a team in the New York area will get you plenty of notice, but the salsa dance has made Cruz a name brand outside the football arena.
Sullivan’s gone, but Cruz’s dancing shoes will remain in place. And while Coughlin still doesn’t seem like a guy enamored of elaborate touchdown celebrations, it’s a safe bet he’ll be fine with anything Cruz does so long as he scores 10 or so touchdowns again this season.