Ex-Steeler Alan Faneca falls short of Hall of Fame; Ty Law makes cut
Alan Faneca didn’t get the knock on his hotel room door for the fourth year in a row, which signified he missed the cut for the Pro Football Hall of Fame again.
Aliquippa native Ty Law was more fortunate.
Law was among five modern-era candidates selected Saturday, making the Hall of Fame in his third year as a finalist. The others picked were center Kevin Mawae, cornerback Champ Bailey, safety Ed Reed and tight end Tony Gonzalez. Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Dallas Cowboys personnel head Gil Brandt were elected as contributors, and former Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Johnny Robinson was elected in the senior category.
Bailey, Reed and Gonzalez were elected in their first year of eligibility.
Law, 44, spent 10 of his 15 years with the New England Patriots, becoming the first longtime member of their dynasty to be welcomed into doors of the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro. He also won three Super Bowls with the Patriots.
“I’m so happy to be the one that will be representing them,” Law told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “But I’m quite sure I won’t be by myself for long.”
The nephew of Hall of Fame member Tony Dorsett of Hopewell and Pitt fame, Law said becoming a football player always was his dream while growing up in Aliquippa.
“I knew at a very early age that we eat, sleep and live football,” Law said. “We played baseball. We played basketball, but we lived football.”
The Patriots’ first-round draft pick in 1995, Law tied the franchise record with 36 interceptions. He spent his final five seasons with the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos and finished with 53 career interceptions.
The 48-member Hall of Fame selection committee spent more than 27 minutes discussing Law’s candidacy, the longest time devoted to any finalist. Law’s chances were boosted by letters of recommendation from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and owner Robert Kraft.
The committee narrowed the 15 finalists to 10, with players Isaac Bruce, John Lynch and Richard Seymour and coaches Tom Flores and Don Coryell missing the cut. Faneca and the three other offensive linemen on the ballot — Steve Hutchinson and Tony Boselli among them — were in the final 10, but only Mawae advanced to the final five.
Also failing to make the final cut were Steve Atwater and Edgerrin James.
The committee debated the candidates for 71⁄2 hours Saturday before Hall of Fame president David Baker went knocking on the doors of those elected to the exclusive club.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be Aug. 3 in Canton.
Faneca, 42, made nine Pro Bowls and was a six-time first-team All-Pro in his 13-year career, the first 10 of which he spent with the Steelers. He missed only two games, and one because of injury, in his lengthy career.
Next season, he will face competition from one of his former teammates. Safety Troy Polamalu, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and six-time All-Pro, will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2020.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .