This is Victor Cruz’s second trip to the Super Bowl, and it’s decidedly different from his first.
That came last year when he was not only a participant but one of its stars. He was mobbed by reporters each day during media availability, had his image plastered around Indianapolis, and even had Madonna dance his famous salsa a few days before he performed it himself after a touchdown against the Patriots.
This year he’s here in New Orleans representing Castrol, making the rounds on radio row.
“It’s weird not to see Giants logos everywhere and not to be playing in it,” he said. “Just the nature of the year we had, now I'm here on the other end of the spectrum.”
The Giants finished 9-7 and did not make the playoffs, but that has not diminished Cruz’s opinion of the team.
“I think we could have been here,” he said. “There were certain times throughout the season where we played good enough to be here but we weren't consistent enough. That’s kind of the nature of our season we had this year. Hopefully next year will be different. The Super Bowl’s in New York and so we definitely want to be able to play in that.”
As for this year’s game, Cruz had a low-scoring prediction: 49ers over the Ravens, 17-10. He’s picking the team the Giants walloped (26-3) this season to beat the team that walloped the Giants (33-14).
“I think the defense is going to be too strong,” he said. “I think it’s definitely going to be a defensive game but I think their defense is going to be too strong. Colin Kaepernick is going to make a big play to change the game.”