Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr. and other New York Giants players took a trip to Miami ahead of their playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. It’s a trip that at least one of them regrets.
They partied it up with Justin Bieber and other stars at a club in South Beach until the wee hours of the morning (watch here) before taking the infamous picture on a yacht that turned into a plethora of Internet memes after New York tanked in that Wild Card Game at Lambeau Field.
— Sports on Earth (@SportsonEarth) January 9, 2017
Needless to say, it wasn’t a good look, and it’s a mistake Cruz regrets.
“Looking back on it, it definitely wasn’t worth it,” Cruz said on the “Timeout with Taylor Rooks” podcast (h/t Bernie Augustine of the New York Daily News). “At the end of the day, you want to put your mind in a place where you want to succeed at whatever your next task is, especially in a football setting and a football atmosphere.”
Cruz elaborated on the motivation for taking the ill-advised trip in the first place.
“You just win a game … granted it’s New Year’s Day and you’re an adult and you pay your own bills and it’s an off-day, so you want to just go out and enjoy yourself. I think the photo is what made it because a picture is worth a thousand words,” Cruz told SNY’s Rooks.
Beckham Jr. took the brunt of the criticism. Not only did he no-show against the Packers (four catches for 28 yards), but he also punched a hole in the wall at Lambeau — an action his head coach was not pleased with, to say the least. But he wasn’t the only one to struggle, as Cruz was almost a non-factor as well, catching just three passes for 30 yards.
While they weren’t the first guys to party it up after a game heading into the playoffs, we can be sure the trip to Miami will be a teaching point around the league in the coming year. Given the way these athletes are followed around these days, and given the fact everyone has a camera at the ready, they just have to be more careful about perception, protecting themselves and their teams.