Former cornerback Ty Law is more than one of the 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018; he’s one of the favorites to make the next cut to 15.
But as one of 10 finalists for the Class of 2017, he’s more than someone expected to advance to the next level, too. Pure and simple, he’s a favorite to be inducted on this vote. And Law isn’t afraid to admit that’s something he wants “bad,” as he told the Talk of Fame Network on the latest broadcast.
“It is a little nerve racking when everyone says, ‘This is your year; this is your year,’ ” he said. “But I know the reality of how hard it is to get there. So I’m happy for now … and, at the time … just being in the conversation. But it is something I definitely want bad.
“I worked hard and that that was the ultimate goal … to not only to win championships but to one day be immortalized in the Pro football Hall of Fame.”
Law won championships. In fact, he won three in four years with the New England Patriots. He was also a two-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowler, a two-time league interceptions leader and second-team all-decade choice. He’s also a member of the Patriots’ Hall of Fame.
But now … well, now he’s in rarified air, with tough competition among the seven defensive backs up for the Hall in 2018 — including first-time choices Ronde Barber and Everson Walls. It is Barber’s first year of eligibility as a modern-era candidate and Walls’ last.
It is Law’s fourth year of eligibility, with 2017 his first as a finalist.
“So have you scouted the competition?” he was asked.
“I didn’t do that,” Law said, “because I think anyone mentioned of such an honor deserves to be there. But I will say I’m guilty of looking up the stats before of some of the Hall of Famers, especially when I was playing. (And) I do it more so now that I’m actually in the conversation.
“I looked up the Mike Haynes, the Emmitt Thomases, the Darrell Greens … the cornerbacks who are actually in the Hall of Fame. You want to match up to not only who you’re playing against on a week-to-week basis when you’re playing, but you always want to compare yourself — at least I did — to the great ones that eventually wound up in the Hall of Fame.
“So I was more so chasing those guys in the back on my mind than actually chasing the guys I was playing with and against.”