On Monday, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz lost his grandmother, a very important person in his life and the reason for his signature salsa touchdown dance. His grandmother, Lucy Molina, had been battling several illnesses including diabetes until she passed at the age of 77. Cruz credits his grandmother and his mother Blanca for raising him as a child, and recently told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN how much his grandmother meant to him.
"She meant the world to me," Cruz said. "Besides my mom, she practically raised me, so it obviously is something tough to go through. You have to take it in stride and understand that it was her time to go and God just wanted another angel up there with him."
It was last season that Cruz started his salsa dancing, which has become a craze in the NFL. He got an opportunity for playing time against the Philadelphia Eagles which he took full advantage of, catching three passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Salsa dancing was the first thing that popped into his head after his first score. Cruz reminisced of times spent with his grandmother to ESPN the magazine earlier this summer.
"As a kid, my grandma would be dancing all the time. Three o'clock on a Tuesday and she's got her record player on. She'd pick me up and dance with me," he said.
Cruz had an off game in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys which included three uncharacteristic drops, and was unable to show off his famous dance. This week he hopes to find the end zone so he can salsa in honor of his late grandmother.
"She asked me to keep doing it for her. She says it keeps her alive," Cruz said.
Cruz will be attending his grandmother's funeral this Friday, and then concentrating on scoring on Sunday. If Cruz does find the end zone, he knows it will be an emotional moment.
"Yeah, it's going to be [emotional], obviously, she is going to be on my mind so it is going to be emotional. Definitely. It was a tough time for us, but she is in a better place now," he said.
Victor will attempt to redeem himself after his poor outing last game, and will do so with a heavy heart.
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