Local football fans should root for “good guy” Cruz




During football season, Seton Hall fans feel left out.

While other schools are out there tailgating and having a rip-snorting good time with their teams on the gridiron, the poor ol’ Pirates sit around and wait for basketball season.

It is time to put an end to that.

Seton Hall’s lack of a football team does not mean fans of the Blue and White should be robbed of enjoying America’s favorite sport. While the NFL is home to some real lowlifes—which The Setonian mentioned a few weeks ago—there are some decent dudes in the league.

Victor Cruz is one of the best.

The New York Giants wide receiver hails from the great land that brought us Fetty Wap, and he really does not seem to have changed since his days at Paterson Catholic (N.J.) and, even earlier, the local Boys and Girls Club.

According to NJ.com, “Cruz and his connections have donated about $1 million” to the club in recent years. He also helped add a teen wing to the main building.

Two years prior to that, Cruz had the entire swimming pool and locker rooms renovated.

“The same kid that walked these hallways is the same kid that’s out on the field,” the receiver said at the time. “And if I can do it, they can do it.”

Cruz’s sister works with the club, and she called him last spring saying that the kids needed an Xbox. Cruz delivered one and then started challenging everyone to games of NBA 2K.

The 28-year-old also played AAU basketball with former NBA Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith. So he knows his way around the court, even if it is virtual.

“He was my roommate on a lot of the road trips,” Smith said of Cruz in a 2012 ESPN article. “We took long bus rides—six, seven hours—going to Virginia, D.C., and stuff like that. We sat in the back of the bus chilling and goofing around. He’s a hell of a basketball player. A lot of people don’t know that. He’s a great dude.”

Smith’s pal showed up at a Jersey City shoe store last December to “provide inspiration” for kids to get involved with community service. Nobody forced him to do this, and it was not just some PR move.

Cruz really seems like a genuinely good guy.

He’s not bad on the field, either.

Cruz led Big Blue in receiving yards and touchdowns from 2011 to 2013. Though second-year superstar Odell Beckham Jr. is the top dog now, the return of Cruz could give New York one of the NFL’s fiercest aerial attacks with Eli Manning throwing to them.

Cruz plans on returning to the field this Sunday after being sidelined since Week 6 of last year. The 1-2 Giants are on the road against the 2-1 Buffalo Bills and their intimidating defense.

“It’s definitely going to be an emotional game,” Cruz told Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “It’s definitely going to be a fun game. I plan on just having fun and catching everything that goes my way, and hopefully come out with a win.”

When he takes the field, Paterson will be behind him. And unless you are a diehard fan of another team, you should be, too.

Tom Duffy is a journalism major from Woodbridge, N.J. He can be reached at thomas.duffy@student. shu.edu or on Twitter @TJDhoops.

Author: Tom Duffy

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