BOSTON (CBS) — Thousands of fans pooled into Patriots Place in Foxboro on Friday, as Ty Law was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame.
Law, who spent 10 of his 15 years in the NFL roaming the New England secondary, said Friday night’s honor officially makes him a Patriot for life.
Law thanked the media for considering him for the Hall, and he thanked the fans for voting him in.
“I’m very humbled by you guys, the fans, because it was one of the best feelings in the world to come back and see those 24 jerseys still out there, still cheering,” Law said of his return to New England as a member of the Jets. “When I was sleeping with the enemy, you guys were still cheering for me.
“I love you, thank you very much.”
Law also thanked Robert Kraft, whom he called the best owner in the NFL. He recalled a moment when Kraft showed up to present an award to Law, even though Kraft’s wife was ill at the time.
“You were committed to me, and that’s how you felt about me, and that’s how I feel about you. So I think you from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget that, Mr. Kraft,” Law said. “Any time you call me, I will be there.”
A number of Patriots Hall of Famers and former teammates — including Tedy Bruschi, Kevin Faulk and Troy Brown — were on hand for the ceremony. Quarterback Tom Brady spoke highly of Law in a video montage that preceded Law’s entrance.
Both Jonathan and Robert Kraft were on hand, and both spoke before Law took the podium.
“So do you want to know how good Ty Law was?” Robert Kraft asked the crowd. “Have you heard of the Ty Law rule? When the league cracked down on the physical play of bump and run coverage in ’04, it effectually became known as the Ty Law rule. Can there be a higher compliment for a defensive back?
“Every single week, those receivers fought the Law,” Kraft added. “And the Law won.”
In a roundtable discussion about Law, which was moderated by Scott Zolak, Tedy Bruschi spoke of Law’s impressive dance moves that came out after the cornerback took an interception to the house.
“I had to learn to dance so I could celebrate with Ty Law,” Bruschi said.
Bob Kraft & Ty Law Dance
Dancing, of course, remains an important part of Law’s legacy. He performed a memorable dance with Patriots owner Robert Kraft at City Hall Plaza after the team’s Super Bowl parade in 2002.
Kraft spoke fondly of his memory of the dance.
“The plan was to have each of the captains take the mic and say a few words. As the mic was being passed around among the captains, Ty made another interception and took the mic. We knew we were about to go off script,” Kraft recalled. “Ty cued the DJ to put some music on and he started dancing on the stage. I think he was the only player wearing quite a fur coat and quite a fur hat. But he started getting the other players to dance, as you can see Troy had some good moves there. Then he called me to the dance floor by saying, and I quote, ‘Hey Mr. Kraft, can I get an ownership? I own the team. I pay all y’all fools money. Can I get a little dance?’ How many of you would keep your jobs if you tried to embarrass your boss in front of more than a million people? Ty was the only one brazen enough to try.
“But a couple of days later he dropped off a photo at my office and the caption said, ‘Who said white men can’t dance?’ I’ve had that photo displayed in my office since he gave it to me, and when I come in every morning, it gives me a good laugh.”
Fans voted Law into the team’s Hall of Fame last spring, choosing him ahead of former Pats head coach Bill Parcells and corner Raymond Clayborn, who set many of the records that Law would break during his New England career. Law was the first Patriots player to lead the NFL in interceptions with nine picks in 1998, and tied Clayborn’s career franchise-record with 36 interceptions. Law also finished with the most interception-return yards in team history.
But he always seemed to save his best plays for the postseason. In Super Bowl XXXVI, when the Patriots raised the Lombardi trophy as Super Bowl champs for the first time in franchise history, Law picked off a pass by Rams quarterback Kurt Warner and returned it 47 yards for the game’s first points. In the 2003 AFC Championship Game, Law intercepted Peyton Manning three times in the Patriots 24-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, en route to their third Super Bowl title in four years.
Law joins Tedy Bruschi (2013), Troy Brown (2012) and Drew Bledsoe (2011) as the only players to be selected by the fans into the Patriots Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.
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