At first, Victor Cruz insisted he “could care less” whether 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers mocks his salsa dance, as promised, on Sunday. A few hours later, though, the truth came out.
Cruz cares. In fact he’ll care a lot if Rogers tries to steal his dance again.
“I obviously won’t be OK with that,” Cruz said on a conference call with the San Francisco media on Wednesday. “It obviously won’t sit well with me.”
Cruz takes his salsa seriously and personally, especially since it’s a tribute to his grandmother, Lucy Molina, who taught him the moves he has since made famous. It’s even more personal to him now after Molina died last month.
That’s a big reason why Cruz hasn’t forgotten the sight of Rogers mocking his steps after he made an interception in the Giants’ regular-season loss in San Francisco last season.
“It’s something I do for my grandmother and it’s something that’s sacred to me,” Cruz said. “Even before she passed away, it was something that’s 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.
“Knowing that, it’s just a little slap in the face.”
Rogers said in San Francisco that he had no idea Cruz’s salsa was a tribute to his grandmother, but regardless, he obviously meant his version as an insult. Now that he knows, it’s unclear if he would try to break his version out again on Sunday when he and Cruz renew their rivalry as the Giants and 49ers battle at Candlestick Park.
On Tuesday, Rogers told the Sacramento Bee that he was, indeed, plotting a revival.
“I like the dance, actually,” Rogers said. “I really can’t do it as good as him, but if I make a play or get an interception on him, in my mind, just do his dance.”