Visit the Group News Blog operated by friends of Steve:

Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Colts win Super Bowl

Barton Silverman/The New York Times
Defensive back Kelvin Hayden’s 56-yard return
extended the Colts’ lead from a tight 5 points to
a comfortable 12.

Late Interceptions Seal Sloppy Win Against the Bears

Peyton Manning no longer has to worry about a career without a Super Bowl title. Tony Dungy, who joined Lovie Smith as the first African-American coaches in the Super Bowl, became the first African-American coach to win it. The Colts’ defense, often maligned for being too soft against the run and too unreliable in key situations, forced five turnovers and held the Chicago Bears to just 3 points in the second half to secure a 29-17 victory Sunday night at Dolphin Stadium.

The Colts won their long-awaited championship after falling short in the playoffs during the previous three seasons. Indianapolis conquered demons along the way, defeating an old nemesis, the New England Patriots, in the American Football Conference championship game, before winning the Lombardi Trophy.

Manning was the game’s most valuable player, but the Colts won not as the Peyton Show, but as a team. Kelvin Hayden, a backup cornerback, made one of the game’s biggest plays with a little less than 12 minutes left to play, intercepting a floating pass by Rex Grossman along the sideline and returning the ball 56 yards for the Colts’ final touchdown to give them a 12-point lead. It was the first career interception for Hayden, who was only in the game because Nick Harper was injured.

On Chicago’s next possession, Grossman was intercepted again, by Bob Sanders, and the celebrating began in Indianapolis, while the disappointment sunk in on the Bears’ sideline.

The Colts’ title was their first since the 1970 season, when the franchise was based in Baltimore. It gave the A.F.C. its fourth consecutive Super Bowl win and sixth victory in the last seven games. Indianapolis won with a balanced attack, Manning throwing it, Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes running it, and the Colts’ offensive line dominating the line of scrimmage.

Rhodes rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries, and Addai gained 77 yards on 19 carries and caught 10 passes for 66 yards.

Manning completed 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

Grossman’s two interceptions ruined an otherwise efficient game. He was 20 of 28 for 165 yards and a touchdown. He also lost a fumble.

It's been easy to knock Manning for not being the Troy Aikman, but I never, ever discount the Colts. I remember a game they played against the Bucs and were two touchdowns down in the 4th Quarter on a Monday night. Warren Sapp was running hard against Manning and his offensive line.

Somehow, Manning pulled his team together and won.

After that, I never discount what Manning can do with his back to the wall.

The Bears should have dominated the Colts after that opening kickoff runback touchdown. But they didn't. The Colts didn't quit. Which was a problem for a team used to dominating other teams. Once the Colts took the lead, the Bears couldn't come back because they didn't know how to.