An impromptu boat trip to Miami seemed fun at the time.
Now, years later, the decision is still haunting former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.
Cruz, along with fellow receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis flew to Miami ahead of their playoff game against the Green Bay Packers in 2017, a game they eventually lost.
“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 and had a good time,” Cruz said on E! on Wednesday. “It was New Year's Day. We came back the next day, we didn’t break any rules.
“This photo will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Cruz spent seven seasons in the league with the Giants before he retired after the 2017 season, recording more than 4,500 yards and 25 touchdowns in his career.
It wasn’t the trip itself that caused the issue, Cruz said, but rather the photo and media circus that followed ahead of the wildcard game.
“We got back in time, but the fact that there was a photo leaked out to Twitter, someone posted it and it started to circulate and make its rounds, that’s what amplified it,” Cruz said.
Clearly, though, the quick vacation didn’t work out. The Giants fell to the Packers 38-13 at Lambeau Field, eliminating them from the postseason. It was so bad, that Beckham actually punched a hole in a wall at the stadium.
That game was Cruz’s final in the NFL, too, and New York’s last playoff appearance.
While he said that the photo still haunts him, Cruz stands by the trip.
Had they jetted down to Miami before social media existed, nobody would have known in the first place. And if they had beaten the Packers, Cruz said it’d be a whole different story.
“No, I don’t regret it,” Cruz said. “You gotta live … If we won the game, they’d be like, ‘Go to Miami every week! Apparently that’s the good luck charm.’ But the fact that we lost left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth.”
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