2013 NFL Season: Has New York Giants Receiver Victor Cruz Lost His Love of the Game?

This post was written by a fervent, yet realistic Giants fan with a flexible filter. Temporarily nicknamed the SS Minnow, Sam can be found on Twitter @ohmydamn12 and on her personal website, Forget And Not Slow Down

Victor Cruz | New York Giants

Victor Cruz | New York Giants (Photo credit: Football Schedule)

Most, if not all professional athletes, claim they do what they do simply for the love of the game. That may be true at the start of their careers… the hustle and grind to make it to the top, to be a franchise name, to be the strongest, fastest, best in their field.

But what happens when these athletes finally make names for themselves in their respective sports? Somehow “the love of the game is forgotten” and it’s all about the Benjamins.

The NY Giants’ star wide receiver, Victor Cruz, seems to have forgotten his roots. He’s gone from an undrafted, fun-loving, salsa-dancing, clutch-catching, sophomore to the type of player who wouldn’t show up to OTAs (even if it was non-mandatory) because of a squabble over his contract and salary.

In his absence, receiver Rueben Randle has been shining. He’s all Giants’ offensive coach Kevin Gilbride can talk about, which means he’s been fashionably earning his spot on the team. Randle has been deservedly marked as the No. 3 receiver.

Rueben Randle | New York Giants

Rueben Randle | New York Giants (Photo credit: Football Schedule)

The real question is whether his hard work will eventually outshine Cruz during the season…

Cruz recently signed a six-year, $45.879 million contract extension, which isn’t exactly Andre Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald cash, but still bodes the question – was it worth missing out on valuable time with his team? Did Cruz’s head get too big that he couldn’t fit into his helmet? Or has he already proven himself worthy, and truly has no need to participate with his teammates?

The verdict has yet to be released…

Will he come up with a big year again as the No. 2 receiver to earn his dollars or will the money weigh him down? New York is a tough city – they won’t accept anything less than spectacular. If Cruz lives up to the hype, maybe no one will care about his missed OTAs. If he fails… he may just be another player who forgot about what’s important, fought for the cash, but couldn’t put out to please the fans.

Here’s to hoping Cruz proves that he is worth the cash, worth the wait, and worth the attitude because the G-Men can certainly use a consistent offensive core to start the season off right. Here’s to hoping Nicks, Cruz, Randle, and Eli can make magic this season because for the LOVE OF THE GAME let’s bring some consistency and a Super Bowl trophy home to NY again!