Leading up to Sunday afternoon’s game, an exchange of words from members of the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers became the topic of discussion–more than the game itself. The exchange of words between Giants WR Victor Cruz and 49ers CB Carlos Rogers became one of interest because of their recent history matching up with one another.
Cruz and his salsa dance became a phenomenon during their 2011 championship season and it appeared to draw the ire of Rogers the first time the two teams met last November. Cruz had six catches for 84 yards against Rogers, but Rogers came away with two interceptions. As Cruz expressed in the America’s Game series, he took that performance personally when the two met again in the NFC Championship Game.
In the NFC Championship Game, Cruz had an excellent first half en route to 10 catches for 142 yards. Cruz didn’t have a touchdown in the game, but the drive the Giants had right before the end of the first half where Cruz made several important catches probably stuck in Rogers’ mind all off-season. When the 2012 schedule was released, Rogers had October 14, 2012 circled on his calendar.
During this past week, chatter about Cruz’s salsa dance celebration arose when Rogers initially stated he would do the salsa dance if he were to get an interception. Once he learned the reason why Cruz does the dance, Rogers, in a classy move, backed off. Rogers, however, still wanted to shut down Cruz. Rogers was not successful. Cruz scored a touchdown en route to leading the Giants’ receivers with six catches and a big Giants win.