Victor Cruz became a household name virtually overnight in 2011. During his first full season with the New York Giants, he quickly became one of the best receivers in the league, catching 82 passes for 1,536 yards and nine annotations.
His magic carpet ride, which the rest of the New York Giants rode to win the 2012 Super Bowl, began in Philadelphia in Week 3 of the 2011 season, when he made three receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns. , including the game. winner.
Cruz did his patented salsa dance celebration in the end zone at Lincoln Financial Field. The image of him dancing in the end zone at the Linc during a win will likely remain etched in the memory of Eagles fans, Cruz acknowledged.
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«I think that’s the problem that they remember all of that, and now they just don’t like me anymore,» Cruz told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.
Cruz is in Glendale, Ariz., for Super Bowl LVII, where he and fellow former NFL receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Cris Carter have teamed up with On Location to give fans the thrill of their lives on the Sunday of superbowl.
Meeting with Eagles fans has become unavoidable, and Cruz, 36, admits he’s «so scared» to run into them this week.
«These guys are relentless. These Eagles fans don’t have much propriety, man, if I’m being honest,» he said. «They’re just going to be running all over me. I was walking on stage at Radio Row, and I made the mistake of wearing green. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I dressed as a green suit, and they were already giving me shit. I’m like ‘It’s Thursday guys. At least wait until Saturday, Sunday to start giving me shit.'»
Cruz knows all too well the hostility in Philadelphia. When he tore a patellar tendon in 2014 at Lincoln Financial, Eagles fans didn’t exactly wish him well.
However, they have treated him better in retirement.
“It’s definitely love now. It usually starts with, ‘Hey, you had a great run, I appreciate you.’ And then it’s like, ‘But your team sucks. It starts with love, but then it always ends in a joke, for sure,» he says.
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Eagles fans have a lot to brag about. They were 14-3 in the regular season, and Jalen Hurts, who was the favorite to win MVP before a shoulder injury, is 16-1 this season, including his two playoff wins.
Philadelphia, like the 2011 Giants, came out of nowhere. Many thought they would fight for a playoff spot, but few thought they would be one of the best in the league.
Cruz said Eagles fans see their team as a «destiny team.»
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«I think that’s exactly how they feel. I think they feel like they struck gold with Jalen Hurts. Just this whole team, Nick Sirianni, the coach, embody his energy, his swagger. It pains me to say, but I feel like they’re going to be good for quite a while,» said the former Giant. «In the next few years, they’ll have a good, solid core football team and they’ll really be able to do some strong stuff.
“But this year, I think they’re like, ‘Look, we’re riding this wave, we’ve ridden this wave all the way to the Super Bowl.’ It’s been a fantasy ride all year, and let’s see if they can close it out with the same level of excitement they’ve had all year… I think the Eagles and Eagles fans feel like this is the team of destiny this year, and it’s theirs to lose.»
The Eagles will seek their second Super Bowl title in five years when they face the Kansas City Chiefs. Kickoff is at 6:30 pm ET Sunday on FOX.