The lights were dim, the setting was intimate and the crowd reserved a quite intensity while waiting to cheer for their beloved football star at any moment. Arguably the most important player of the 2011-2012 NFL season, NY Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was backstage waiting to appear before a large crowd at the Queens Theater.
When Cruz finally came on stage, the eager crowd applauded and yelled “we love you” to arguably one of the most important players on the Super Bowl-winning Giants roster last year. Cruz waved to the crowd, and then sat down to discuss his new book, “Out of the Blue.”
“I wake up every morning and I’m grateful and a part of me says, 'wow, a kid from Paterson that came up and is now a staple in the NY Giants,” said Cruz.
Cruz said he brought the author of “Out of the Blue” to the neighborhood he grew up in and other places that had personal importance, so that the book would be as accurate as possible.
“I understood that I was going to have to divulge personal stuff for the book, and I was comfortable with that,” he said.
For over an hour, Cruz spoke about his early life, his struggle to make it out of college, learning to dance salsa from his grandmother and the 2011-2012 championship season.
Cruz claims that basketball was his favorite sport growing up, but it was a high school coach that mentioned to Cruz that there were more scholarship opportunities in football than basketball.
“I said that’s a good point,” he said. “My mother couldn’t afford to pay for college.”
Cruz grew up in a humble household, and some might say a hostile outside environment. Despite outside pressures and the absence of his father, Cruz discussed eventually making it to the NFL and winning a championship.
“I was a small-town kid,” he said. “I strived, but I had to fight tooth and nail. Through hard work and dedication you can achieve your goals.”
After sharing some of his personal experiences, Cruz answered some questions from the audience.
At one point, a young fan told Cruz that he was his favorite player, and Cruz brought him on stage to sit with him through the remainder of the discussion.
When asked what are his goals for the upcoming season, Cruz smiled and said “win the Super Bowl, that is my only goal,” causing the audience to go wild.
Time Warner Cable has teamed up with Cruz to bolster its Enjoy Sports better initiative, which helps customers enjoy the sports and teams they love.
The partnership will feature Cruz in a national advertising campaign and on regular segments on NY1 and NY1 Noticias, as well as appearances by Cruz at community events.