Patriots cornerback Ty Law (1995-2004) will be honored Tuesday night at the 10th annual "Tradition", held at TD Banknorth Garden. His presenter is scheduled to be Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Law is one of the greatest cornerbacks in franchise history, his 36 interceptions tying him for the top spot in Patriots history alongside Raymond Clayborn (1977-89). He was part of all three Super Bowl championship teams, although his 2004 season was limited to seven games.
When it comes to Law memories, three things stand out from this perspective:
1. Law as a first-round pick in 1995. When Law was selected 23rd overall out of Michigan, I remember more questions than excitement. The main one: Was he fast enough to play corner? He answered the question quickly, his physical style quickly making a mark. One of my favorite memories working at Patriots Football Weekly was when Law, then in his third/fourth season, posed in designer suits for a cover shot/story. He had a lot of fun with it, taking us to his old condo in Franklin. It feels like yesterday we were going through the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru on Rte. 140 in Franklin so he could fuel up. He might have been from Pennsylvania, but he learned to like his Dunkin' Donuts quickly. Great personality to be around, and on the football field, a tough, physical presence.
2. Interception return in Super Bowl XXXVI. Racing 47 yards for a touchdown, with his right arm extended in front of him in celebration, is an image that resonates. The score gave the Patriots a 7-3 lead over the Rams in the second quarter. Any disagreement that is the play most would remember Law for?
3. Unhappy exit; football as business. Law, who often spoke from a business perspective, wasn't afraid to share his contract-related thoughts publicly. He had some harsh words for Patriots coach Bill Belichick at one point. While Law delivered on the field, he also made no secret that he viewed football as a business opportunity.