Friday, August 1, 2014
Ty Law dances his way into Patriots Hall
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Cornerback Ty Law’s induction into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame on Friday was capped with flair, as Law provided owner Robert Kraft a new pair of shoes and the two danced on stage as music blared.
“We’re going to do this Ty Law-style!” Law said to the crowd after a lengthy speech that included one moment when Law -- fitted in the traditional red jacket for inductees -- had to gather his emotions while thanking his family.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Law and Kraft have busted a move on stage.
Ty Law and Robert Kraft busted out their moves one more time on Friday.
In the Patriots’ victory parade following the Super Bowl XXXVI victory over the St. Louis Rams, Law famously called for Kraft to dance with him on stage. The two did it again in 2011 at The Tradition, an annual event hosted by The Sports Museum that honors New England greats.
This time, Law handed Kraft a gift box that included red, white and blue shoes, and he called for video to be shown of their previous two dances. Then Law asked for the music to be turned up loud, and the two capped off the 90-minute ceremony with the unique touch.
Law’s celebratory dances were unforgettable during his time with the Patriots (1995-2004), and Kraft -- in a humorous introduction speech -- shared the story of how Law gave him an autographed photo from the Super Bowl parade that was signed, “Who says white guys can’t dance?” That photo still hangs in Kraft’s office.
The Patriots Hall of Fame induction has turned into one of the highlights on the Patriots’ annual calendar, drawing thousands of fans who fill the 80-plus steps in the plaza outside the team’s hall, while also surrounding the stage. In addition, notable alumni return from all eras, with this year’s group consisting of safeties Lawyer Milloy and Rodney Harrison, as well as cornerback Otis Smith, who were three of Law’s closest friends during his playing career.
In his speech, Law reflected on how meaningful it was to have always received such a warm welcome from Patriots fans, even when he was “sleeping with the enemy,” a reference to his 2005 season with the New York Jets.
“I’m very humbled by you, the fans, because it was one of the best feelings in the world to come back and see those 24 jerseys out there still cheering,” he said.
Kraft also shared a story from that part of Law’s career, detailing how contract negotiations between the team and Law had reached a stalemate after the team’s final offer. Kraft said Law stopped him in the locker room and said, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Ty F'ing Law!”
Then Kraft noted how “Ty F'ing Law” signed with the “New York F'ing Jets” and proved it by totaling a career-high 10 interceptions that season. Law was never short on confidence.
“How good was Ty Law? The best,” Kraft said in his speech. “And if you don’t believe it, just ask him.”
That led the crowd, and Law, to erupt in laughter on a memorable night that included a little bit of everything -- laughs, tears, poignant memories and, of course, one final dance.