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Fan Fight 7: Cruz's 'Salsa' or Gronk Spike?

Posted by Obnoxious Boston Fan  February 2, 2012 08:45 PM

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100fuchs.jpgI've challenged Jeremy Fuchs, site editor for GiantsGab, a leading Giants blog, to a series of debates in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Jeremy is a longtime New York sports fan who is looking forward to the Giants raising the Lombardi trophy one more time against the Pats.

Today's topic: Which move is better - Victor Cruz's "Salsa Dance" or Rob Gronkowski's Gronk Spike:

You can’t help but love the Victor Cruz story. One-star recruit out of New Jersey, finds his way to UMASS. Enjoys success there, but not enough to be drafted. Signs with the Giants. He’s expected to just be camp fodder.

He then explodes against the Jets in preseason, scoring 3 TDs and looking like a star. The Giants were forced to keep him, because another team would snatch him up. Cruz did get hurt, however, and spent the season on IR.

Entering this season, he was still a question mark. He was still a rookie, essentially, with only one big preseason game under his belt. But it didn’t seem to matter.

1,536 yards and 9 touchdowns later, Victor Cruz has arrived. With each touchdown, Cruz does a little celebration, perhaps celebrating his journey. He salsas.

Playing up his heritage, and showing off damn good dancing skills, the Cruz salsa has become a hit amongst Giants fans. After any catch, there will be a big “Cruuuuuz” call, followed by salsas in the crowd. It’s a hit.

He’s captivated a fan base, and a city. Newspapers have steps to the salsa in their pages, so the fans can do it correctly.

Hell, even Madonna is doing it. Not that it makes it any official or anything, but she is the halftime entertainment. She ain’t Gronking, that’s for sure.

Speaking of Gronk, to me, it’s just a nickname. Yes, I understand the whole culture about it, the Gronking, the Gronkling ducklings in some Boston park that I don’t know the name of because no park even deserves a name after Central Park.

A salsa is tangible. We see it, and see the pure joy on the face of Victor Cruz as he does it. There’s something deeper behind the salsa; he’s not a 2nd round pick out of a major school, pre-ordained for success since high school. His salsa is his moment to shine. Besides, at least he stays clean off the field. Giants players don’t associate themselves with adult film actresses (because, yes, they’re definitely actors).

Cruz is, and should be, an inspiration. His salsas are a subtle reminder to appreciate the joy we have in our lives, whether it’s a touchdown or something else. You don’t get that from Gronk.


Obnoxious Boston Fan says: Madonna might do a mean Victor Cruz "Salsa" but BiBi Jones loves the Gronk Spike.

Score one for Rob Gronkowski.

There's a lot to like about Cruz. If he was on the Patriots, he might even be Tom Brady's fourth option whenever the Pats aren't using their two tight ends, Deion Branch and Wes Welker.

Gronkowski unleashed a statistical rampage on opposition defenses (90 catches, 1,327 yards and 17 TDs in the regular season) as one of two featured tight ends. But it was the beating he delivered to unsuspecting footballs that elevated him to folk hero status in New England. The Gronk Spike also epitomized the sheer primal element involved when a 6-foot-5 monster of a man lands head-first, or neck-first, into the end zone. When you think "football player" you think of a guy just like Gronk. Part caveman, part athlete, part hell-raiser, all clutch.

Gronkowski doesn't just spike the ball. He slams it down with primal authority. According to The New York Times and MIT's Dan Thaler, the ball leaves Gronkowski’s hand at 60 MPH, about two feet from the ground, and the ensuing collision with the turf results in 650 pounds of force. That compares to a field goal kick at 450 pounds, a hockey check into the boards at 500 pounds and a hard cut in football at 700 pounds. A NASCAR collision carries a force of 16,000 pounds, or about 25 Gronk Spikes. The spike was a lost art in the NFL until the Gronk Spike exploded on to the scene with Gronkowski's 31 TDs in just 34 NFL career games. Thanks to Gronk, the spike is back in Vogue (take that, Madonna) across the NFL and football everywhere.

When Gronk got fined $7,500 for a Gronk Spike against the Jets on Nov. 13, the Worcester Sharks agreed to pay Gronkowski the same amount for a ceremonial puck spike before their game against Providence on Feb. 24. We're not sure if he'll be able to crack the ice.

The Gronk Spike craze evolved into "Gronking" - a move started by 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich on their Facebook page and evolved into a fad that has all of New England slamming everything from footballs in their living rooms to big-screen televisions off the roof. No one is doing the "Salsa" off a building, are they?

Gronkowski, the Gronk Spike and "Gronking" has helped fans across Patriot Nation get themselves into the team's Super Bowl run this season beyond simply watching games and cheering the for the team. They've also inspired about a million You Tube videos, remixes and rap songs.

And the hits will keep coming Sunday night.

We've been there for every single snap this season during our in-game fan chats. Don't miss our chat this Sunday during the Boston.com virtual tailgate. The fun begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends ... As always, let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here, on our Obnoxious Boston Fan Facebook page or e-mail them to me at obnoxiousbostonfan@hotmail.com. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter @realOBF. Thanks for reading. Pass the clicker.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Obnoxious Boston Fan offers a fun, unique and biting perspective on the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, Patriots and whatever else people are talking about in the world of sports. We More »
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