“People are starting to pay attention,” Rivera said in a telephone interview last week. “Football is slowly becoming more and more a part of that consciousness.”

Rivera, Cruz and Hernandez were all quick to say that football still had a long way to go in matching baseball and basketball in popularity among Puerto Ricans. And David Bernier, president of the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee and former secretary of sport and recreation on the island, said football there “remains a niche sport with pockets of fans.” But the emergence of young, energetic playmakers like Cruz — particularly because he plays in a market with a concentration of Puerto Ricans — can only help. Victor Cruz, Giants Receiver, Mixes Cultures and Scores Touchdowns – NYTimes.com.