New York Giants WR Victor Cruz made it clear his book Out of the Blue that 49ers CB Carlos Rogers rubbed him the wrong way during a regular-season meeting between the teams at Candlestick Park last season.
After an interception, Rogers celebrated with a brief salsa dance -- an obvious attempt at mockery of Cruz's touchdown celebration.
"With his teammates cheering him on, he did a sarcastic salsa dance over me," Cruz wrote in the book. "The Candlestick Park crowd went ballistic, but I wasn't laughing. It was a sign of disrespect. Instead of getting up and retaliating, though, I sat and watched Rogers finish his cheap Victor Cruz imitation."
Cruz went into more detail about why Rogers' celebration bothered him in a conference call with Bay Area media Wednesday.
"It's just something that I do for my grandmother, and it's something that's sacred for me, something that due to her passing and even before she passed away it was something that was dear to me," Cruz said. "Why I do it is for her --- because she told me she loved it so much and she taught me how to do it. Knowing that, it's just a little slap in the face, but everybody's different."
His grandmother, Lucy Molina, died Sept. 10 at the age of 77. A repeat performance by Rogers might not sit as well with Cruz.
"I obviously won't be OK with that ... he's going to choose to do what he wants to do," Cruz said. "It is what it is. I'm not going to try to retaliate or do something crazy. That's not me."
Upon learning the dance was a tribute to Cruz's grandmother, Rogers said he wouldn't mimic it in the future.
"It's all supposed to be for fun," Rogers said. "Now that I know it's something he does for his grandma, I'll take that out."
In the first of two trips to San Francisco last season, Cruz had six catches for 84 yards in a 27-20 49ers win, but came back stronger in the Giants' 20-17 win in the NFC championship. Cruz had 10 catches for 142 yards to help the Giants reach the Super Bowl on a day he spent a lot of time facing single converage from Rogers.
It took just those two games for somewhat of a rivalry to develop between the men.
"I guess so," Cruz said. "That's what the media likes to call it, but I think it's just friendly competition. I think it's just more so the things that have gone on in the times that we've played each other have been pretty eventful so I think that's more so what brings it out. Carlos is probably the only guy that I have friendly, competitive games against."
Through five games, Cruz is on pace to eclipse the receiving numbers from his breakout 2011 season. He has 37 catches for 438 yards and five touchdowns.