As it likely is for most Giants fans, the image of Victor Cruz and his then-teammates on a boat in Miami is forever ingrained in the receiver’s memory.
Reflecting on the infamous trip, Cruz recently told E!’s “Pop of the Morning” the group was riding high after a regular season-ending win over the Redskins and opted to celebrate before their wild-card matchup with the Packers.
“It was right after a game, and we were just about to go into the playoffs, and although we had the day off, we went to Miami, we had a good time, it was New Year’s Day, we came back the next day, didn’t break any rules,” Cruz said of the 2016-17 season.
“This photo will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Cruz, who played seven seasons with the Giants before retiring in 2018, said the opportunity to jet to South Florida was too enthralling to pass up.
“It was more so the feeling of, ‘Man, when am I going to get to do this again? When am I going to get to be an athlete, win a football game, go on a private jet, go to Miami the same night?’” Cruz explained of the trip that involved Trey Songz. “It was one of those things where I was just like, ‘I think I’m just going to feed our ego tonight.’”
Cruz was joined by fellow Giants receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Roger Lewis. He said once the group shot leaked online, that’s when the situation got “amplified.”
“Well, obviously, we’re back in the locker room, we’re getting ready for practice, and the media asking a ton of questions about it, they asked our coach about it,” Cruz explained.
A week after the trip, the Packers leveled the Giants, 38-13, at Lambeau Field, and Beckham punched a hole in the wall. And while Cruz doesn’t regret the trip, he believes overall feelings about the quickie getaway would have shifted if the Giants won.
“If this was 1999, no one would have known about the trip, we would have went, had a great time, come back,” Cruz said. “And then had we won the game, that’s the part that kind of bothers me, too. If we won the game, they’d be like, ‘Go to Miami every week, apparently that’s the good luck charm.’ The fact that we lost, left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.”
The Giants have gone 12-36 in the three seasons since that last playoff trip.