Earlier today, former New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law was officially enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. During his acceptance speech, the 45-year-old emphasized one point: he would not have earned the famed gold jacket were it not for his teammates and coaches. Consequently, Law pointed out during this speech that all of them deserved to be recognized as well.
“Stand up. The old school, new school, stand up. It’s about time,” said Law during his speech . “I’m not standing here alone. I’m on this stage not because of statistical reasons; I’m here because I was a part of something special. We created a culture, a brotherhood of unselfishness that we displayed as we won three Super Bowl titles. Let’s keep it real. We started this [expletive].”
“What you see today with these young boys, [Willie McGinest], [Tedy] Bruschi, Lawyer [Milloy], Rodney [Harrison], Troy Brown, O-T-I-S [Smith], K[evin] Faulk, [Bobby Hamilton], [Roman] Phif[er], [Richard Seymour, [Mike] Vrabel and that GOAT Tom Brady. They even gave what we created a name,” said Law. “They call it ‘The Patriot Way.’ But we know where it started, fellas. Together, we are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thank y’all.”
Law did not just thank his teammates, though: he also spoke highly about Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “The GOAT. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for not trying to change who I was,” said Law about the most successful head coach in NFL history. “You gave me the opportunity to try it my way first, but you always reminded me if I messed up, we’re going back to doing it your way.”
“But the only thing... he didn’t say ‘messed up.’ I know we’re on TV, he said a couple other words. But y’all can fill in the blanks,” continued Law when speaking about the Patriots’ head coach. “Thank you for showing me how to be a true professional and prepare for games. It’s no mistake or coincidence that you are the greatest coach that this game has ever seen. I love you Bill. I appreciate you, man. Thank you.”
The neo-Hall of Famer also spoke about franchise owner Robert Kraft: “The success of the Patriots starts at the top, and you are the guy sitting there. What you do for the New England community and beyond, and what you did for my career, for the many accomplishments in all areas of your life, we are so grateful for. But more than anything, what stands out to me is what you did for me personally.”
“I remember one time that I was getting honored in Boston with some other great players from the New England area, and Mr. Kraft was scheduled to present me with this award, but Myra, his sweetheart as he liked to call her, was very ill, and she couldn’t make it,” continued Law. “But the fact that you still found the time, which I totally understood, and the energy to walk on that stage and present me with that honor made that day even more special.”
“You told me you wouldn’t miss it for the world, and you told me that Myra wanted it that way,” Law added to his remarks about Kraft. “That’s the Mr. Kraft that I know and love. Not the man or the signature on the bottom right-hand corner of the check, not that guy... Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for impacting my life. To the greatest owner in all sports: I salute you, Mr. Kraft. Thank you.”
Law entered the Hall of Fame coming off one of the most successful careers of any NFL cornerback. Playing in 216 combined regular season and playoff games, the former first-round draft pick established himself as one of the best defensive backs of his era. As such, Law became a key player on a Patriots defense that won three world championships early during this century. His contributions to building the first and only dynasty of the 21st century earned him a spot in Canton now.