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Cruz coming to grips with stardom

Victor Cruz of the Giants signs autographs at

Victor Cruz of the Giants signs autographs at Steiner Sports Store. (Feb. 22, 2012) Credit: Bob Mitchell

I caught up with Victor Cruz at a Steiner Sports signing at Roosevelt Field last night (the event was sold out but I’m told he’ll be back at the mall in March so keep an eye on the Steiner website for info). Most of our conversation was about Jeremy Lin, which you can read here. But we also talked a little bit about going to the Grammys.

“Definitely the sickest thing I've done so far,” said the star-struck Cruz. “Being around all the people you hear on the radio and you buy their albums and their songs and then to see them there, it was absolutely insane.”

It seems that Cruz is still getting comfortable with his status as an NFL star. Remember it was only about 18 months ago that he caught those three preseason TDs against the Jets and got a Twitter shoutout from LeBron James. Now it’s Cruz who is the big name and giving advice to Lin. Cruz isn’t going to bug him, though.

“It'll just be organic if I see him,” Cruz said. “I probably won't reach out to him.”

Cruz used to be the reachee in these relationships. Now he’s a big enough name to be the reacher, if he so chooses.

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The most interesting item I saw Cruz signing last night? A couple of maroon UMass jerseys, which were probably nicer than anything he wore when he played for the Minutemen. Cruz had to adjust his signature for it. Instead of writing his name and “#80” as he has been doing for the last year or so, he had to catch himself and finish the signature with “#3” to match the shirts.

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He also signed a picture of his TD catch from the Super Bowl. You know, the one where Jerod Mayo nearly batted the pass down. Cruz said he saw Mayo coming across the middle the whole way, but I told him that Eli Manning said he never saw Mayo. It’s a good thing Mayo didn’t see Cruz because the linebacker turned the wrong way and raised his wrong hand. Had he been more aware of the pass coming, Cruz said, he probably would have intercepted it and could even have taken it to the end zone for a 100-plus yard return.
 

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