The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers have developed an intense, historical rivalry over the years. Each time these two teams line up opposite each other, you can count on a hard fought, smash mouth football game. With that, things tend to get controversial at times and extracurricular activities sometimes get out of hand. They did last season when 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers impersonated Victor Cruz's salsa routine.
As Giants fans have seen on 14 separate occasions over the last two seasons, Cruz's salsa routine comes out every time No. 80 scores a touchdown. The dance has become iconic within pop culture circles, and has even resulted in Cruz receiving and invitation to participate on Dancing With the Stars. However, it's important to remember why Cruz salsa dances in the first place.
"It's just something that I do for my grandmother," Cruz said. "It's something that's sacred to me, it's something that's due to her passing. Before she passed away, it was something dear to me. Why I do it is for her because she told me she loved it so much, and she taught me how to do it and all of that put together. Knowing that, it's just a little slap in the face."
The slap in the face Cruz refers to goes back to Week 10 of last season when 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers made light of Cruz's salsa dance after he intercepted a pass thrown in Cruz's direction. Although Cruz got his revenge in the NFC Championship game as he torched Rogers for 10 receptions and 144 yards, he never forgot how Rogers disrespected him in Week 10.
Earlier in the week, Rogers told the Sacramento Bee that he would consider doing the salsa dance again if he made a play on a ball thrown in Cruz's direction. However, after Rogers was informed of why Cruz salsa dances, he quickly changed his mind.
"I'm not gonna do it," Rogers said. "That's a tribute to his grandmother. Once (I heard) that, I threw that out the door. It's definitely out."
There has been more talk leading up to this game than any other game the Giants have played this season. Players have been talking back and forth the entire week, not to mention Jim Harbaugh's scathing response to Kevin Gilbride's comments regarding Justin Smith. Needless to say, it's about time the talk stops and the team's play. While no trophies will be handed out to the victor, both squads have a lot to prove on Sunday.
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