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Kidsday talks to NY Giants' Victor Cruz

Kidsday reporters Sal Cimato, Josh Palansky, Sydney Travis

Kidsday reporters Sal Cimato, Josh Palansky, Sydney Travis and Matt Geller, all 10 from East Rockaway, with Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz at the New York Health & Racquet Club in Manhattan. (Dec. 13, 2011) Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

We met Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz at the New York Health & Racquet Club in Manhattan. He talked to us about the new video game "Your Shape Fitness Evolved"(UbiSoft)

Tell us about the video game.

The video game is great. There's definitely a lot of sports games. It even takes an actual visual picture of your whole body so it's like actually you playing the game. There's soccer, there's different things you can do. You can kick the ball. It's really a cool game.

How did you feel when you caught your first touchdown?

It was an amazing feeling to score my first touchdown. Things you dream of doing as a kid, watching football every Sunday and Monday and it was just an amazing feeling. I actually gave that ball to my mom. So she has it now.

Who influenced you to be a professional football player?

It was my dad. He introduced me to playing football and he taught me everything about it. He was the most important person in my life and he was the one who got me started playing football and he's the one that now motivates me to keep playing.

What is your favorite route to do?

My favorite route is probably a post route. I like to go deep and score touchdowns. So that's definitely my favorite route.

When Jason Pierre Paul blocked the game tying field goal against Dallas a few weeks ago. What was going through your mind?

I was so happy. I ran up to him, just jumped on him. Almost brought him to the ground. So it was just a great time for us. We needed that at the biggest moment. He delivered for us. It was awesome to get that victory.

Did you ever think of playing any different sports?

When I was younger I was a basketball guy. I played a lot of basketball. I thought I was going to be in the NBA. So I played basketball and I ran track. I did some track stuff a little bit. So I definitely thought I was a basketball player, but obviously now I'm a football player.

Do you have a touchdown dance and would you do it for us?

I definitely have a touchdown dance, but that was a trick question because you probably knew that already. And it's the salsa. My grandmother taught me how to do it, so it's fun to do when I get in the end zone.

At your most recent win against the Cowboys putting you in first place, what is running through your head at the start of the game and of course, winning at the end?

In the beginning of the game we knew we had to come out and play some great football and we can't have any mistakes because any little mistake can turn the game around. At the end when we won we found out we were at the top of the division, it was awesome, we were all smiling and it was a great flight home to say the least.

How do you feel when you walk on the field with millions of people watching?

It's amazing. It's probably one of the best feelings ever when you hear a whole crowd just yelling your name or just cheer for you when you score a touchdown. So it's probably one of the best feelings in the world for sure.

How did you feel when you put on your dragsters for the first time?

I felt proud. I felt that I came a long way from a small kid from Paterson, N.J. to come out and be able to wear a Giants uniform and go out there and do some good things on the field. So I was proud of myself and I was proud of everybody that got me there along the way.

When did Coach Coughlin know he was going to start you?

I think he knew maybe around . . . we had some injuries early on so we were looking for some guys to play . . . so I think he knew around the fourth or fifth week of this season that I was going to start a few games and I ended up doing well. He granted me with the job of becoming a starter. So I'm excited about that and I'm excited for the opportunity and hopefully we can keep playing.

What football player did you look up to when you were little?

Good question. I loved Jerry Rice, obviously. He was one of my favorite players. He caught everything that went his way. He scored a bunch of touchdowns and he was just awesome. I met him last year and when I met him I was just like I saw a celebrity and I couldn't talk. I was just like, "Ahhh." So it was cool and hopefully I could meet him again so I cannot be as starstruck as I was last time.

Who started the Cruz chant whenever you catch the ball?

I don't know. I think it was just the Giants fans. They're creative when they get a guy that they like and I kind of got the perfect name for it at the end. So the crowd just use it - it started a little bit last year, but this year it's really grown into something crazy.

Why did you choose the number 80?

That number was kind of given to me because they just kind of gave me a number because I had number 3 at first and then they gave me 80, but it's a number I've grown into. I didn't like it at first, but then I've grown into once I started doing some homework and I saw some of the great players that wore number 80. So now I love it. It's become one of my favorite numbers.

How long will you stay with the Giants?

Hopefully I could play the rest of my career there. But contractually, -- under my contract -- I have one more year left. Hopefully I can stay there for the rest of my career.

What team do you hate the most?

I would have to say Philadelphia Eagles just because they're our rivals. Every time we play them, they talk a lot of junk and their fans don't like us very much. So it's definitely the Eagles.

You're a great wide receiver. What other positions would you want to play?

I think I only wanted to play wide receiver. That was the only position I love. I played it in college, high school. I just love scoring touchdowns. Wide receiver was always my number one position and hopefully I can keep that position for a long time.

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