There is more to being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame than making a speech, unveiling your bust in Canton and going to after-parties.
For one thing, there’s hours of sitting around while your face is carved out of clay and eventually set in bronze.
Ty Law, one of the eight inductees going into the Hall in August, recently traveled to Utah to pose for sculptor Ben Hammond before dropping by the Talk of Fame Network to discuss that experience, which was unique in many ways.
“We all sit to get a haircut every week,’’ Law said of his over seven hours spent posing while Hammond worked. “This was like a month’s worth of haircuts in one sitting! When I saw the molding, it was looking like an avatar! Ben is an incredible talent.’’
Using a combination of the posing Law and an assortment of photographs on a computer screen, Hammond started from scratch to shape and mold a piece of clay into a likeness that will stand in the Hall of Busts in Canton forever. Knowing that, Law took the advice of a previously inducted Hall of Famer and did what Terrell Owens failed to do on Induction Day.
He showed up.
“I talked to Randy (Moss),’’ Law explained. “He said, 'You've got to go (to the sculptor’s studio).' A lot of the guys don’t go at all. Randy encouraged me to go to them. He told me, ‘This is your bust.’’
Rather than allowing Hammond to work only off photographs, Law spent the day in his studio, giving him input not only as to what he liked but also what age of Ty Law should be depicted.
“You change over the years,’’ Law explained. “One picture he had up looked like it was from right at the start of mini-camp. I hadn’t done a damn thing (training). I told him, 'You can’t use that picture!'
"To have input, you have to go (to the artist). I was able to tell him if I wanted the young Ty Law or the old Ty Law. People recognize me with a beard now, but I didn’t play with a beard. Give me the goatee and not the chubby face with the beard!
“He’s so skilled. He was capturing the essence of who I am. ‘’
Law learned once the image is set it’s not like school pictures. There are no do-overs. There’s only one bronze version of a Hall-of-Famers’ bust, and it remains in the Hall.
“They give you a replica,’’ Law said. “The only bronze bust is in Canton. If you want to see the original you have to go to Canton.’’
Also visiting this week was Chris Gahl, the senior vice-president of marketing and communication at Visit Indy. Gahl is among those trying to convince the NFL to extend the 25-year connection between the NFL scouting combine and the city of Indianapolis.
At the moment, the NFL is committed to having the combine at Lucas Oil Field through 2020. But cities like Dallas and Los Angeles are vying to host the event in the future, and the NFL is listening. The reason: Because of the success it has had moving the NFL draft out of New York to NFL cities around the country.
Gahl explains why he believes the facilities and infrastructure in Indianapolis remain best suited to host the event. You can hear the pitch he’s making to the NFL and how he plans to hold off other suitors as well as Ty Law’s adventures in a sculptor’s chair by listening to the show on your local SB Nation Radio stations Wednesday nights and weekends or by subscribing to our free weekly podcast at iTunes, the TuneIn app or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also hear the show and all our past shows and interviews at our website, talkoffamenetwork.com.