Victor Cruz: Growing Up in Paterson, NJ
Nowadays Victor Cruz is known as the wide receiver for the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, but he discussed his humble beginnings on “Live With Kelly” July 18. Kelly read the opening line from Victor’s book, Out of the Blue: “As a kid I saw the New York City skyline every single day of my life, but New York City might as well have been the Land of Oz.”
Victor explained that he grew up in Paterson, New Jersey, and his family did not have a lot of money, so New York felt like a fairy tale, even though it was so close. Growing up in Paterson, Victor was exposed to violence and crime, but there was also a lot of good, like sports, that his mother kept him involved with.
Victor said that his grandmother had a saying: “Nothing good happens after 5 p.m.” She would always want him in the house before the sun went down. As a parent, Kelly had to agree that it was a good rule of thumb!
Victor Cruz: University of Massachusetts
Kelly said that Victor had a “deep, dark secret” that it was time to reveal: he played the flute growing up. However, he also played basketball and football, so luckily he decided to stick with sports.
Victor ended up focusing on football solely at the insistence of his coach, who said that the scholarships were much better for football. Victor then attended the University of Massachusetts, because he said “it felt like home.”
Victor Cruz: Meeting Michael Strahan
Victor Cruz eventually became a New York Giant, but the first time he met Michael Strahan, he was working at a New Jersey mall. Michael came into the store while Victor was folding shirts in the front. After being introduced by his boss, Victor chatted with Michael, who told him to stay focused on his goals. Victor said that he has used this advice ever since–and now he can call Michael Strahan whenever he wants!
Victor Cruz: Out of the Blue
You can read all about Victor’s inspirational story in his book, Out of the Blue. Kelly said that Victor makes New Jersey proud, and recommended the book to anyone who “wants to be inspired.”
Victor is known for his end zone dance moves, which he busts out every time he scores a touch down. He dances the salsa, and he said that his grandmother taught him how to do it. Victor and Kelly danced out into the commercial break– Josh had to dance a solo salsa!