Monday, May 19, 2014

Ty Law to be inducted into New England Patriots' Hall of Fame

If there was a moment in Super Bowl 36 when I knew for a fact that the New England Patriots had a shot at pulling the upset over the heavily-favored St. Louis Rams, it was when cornerback Ty Law snagged an errant Kurt Warner pass in stride midway through the 2nd quarter and sprinted untouched the other direction to give the Patriots a 7-3 lead...

...of course, there were several factors that contributed to the play, but the enduring image is of Law raising his hand in celebration at the 20 yard line with the Patriots' sideline going nuts as he ran past them on his way to the end zone.

A moment that will live in Patriots' lore forever, but just one of many big plays on the part of one of the key players that helped take the franchise from doormat to Dynasty once the Bob Kraft era began in 1995 - and his physical "punking" style of riding receivers off the line of scrimmage was so relentless that it became the cause of renewed enforcement of the five-yard buffer rule after he consistently battled the elite receiver of the opposition to frustration through the 2003 season.

Forget the stats.  Law was the law in the Patriots' secondary, an attitude-setting presence who led violent and brutal defenses to four Super Bowls in his ten years as a Patriot - amassing four of his five Pro Bowl honors, both of his All Pro selections and all three of his Super Bowl rings in that span, and has been named to the decade teams of both the 1990's and the 2000's (similarly honored by the NFL), plus was named to the franchise's 50th Anniversary team.

Law was voted into the Hall in his first year of eligibility - joining championship years teammates Drew Bledsoe, Troy Brown and Tedy Bruschi as the only players to do so - and won out for the selection over fellow finalists, former cornerback Raymond Clayborn and former head coach Bill Parcells to be elected for enshrinement, which will take place on August 1st, just before the team's annual Season Ticket holder's practice inside Gillette Stadium.

The former 1st found pick out of Michigan will also be honored during halftime of the Patriots' Thursday night clash with the New York Jets on October 16th.

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