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'They deserve it' | IPS teacher sending parents to Super Bowl thanks to Jim Irsay

Andrew Bartolacci replied to the Colts owner's tweet looking for diehard fans to send to Los Angeles for Sunday's game.

INDIANAPOLIS — Last week, Indianapolis Public Schools teacher Andrew Bartolacci replied to a tweet from Jim Irsay.

The next day, he won a trip of a lifetime.  

“Just kind of spur of the moment. I was stunned, just like my parents were stunned,” Bartolacci said.  

The Colts owner was giving away Super Bowl tickets to diehard fans. In one tweet, Irsay said, “Colts fans, I have two Super Bowl tickets, two airfares and a hotel room in L.A. Who wants to go and why?” 

“I didn’t think that I necessary deserved the tickets, so I was trying to think of who did and I thought of my parent first,” Bartolacci said. 

He quickly replied to the tweet saying, “My dad is a 30 year vet and cancer survivor and my mom just beat uterine cancer last year while having Covid and nearly dying. They deserve it.” 

After that, it didn’t take long for him to get a response.  

“I was out shoveling some of the snow and came back in and I had hundreds of notifications on my phone and boom, I won,” Bartolacci said. 

He said, at first, his mom didn’t believe that it was real.  

“My dad answered and I FaceTimed them. My dad was laughing and saying, 'No way.' He took the phone over to my mom. She absolutely didn’t believe me because I always mess around with her,” Bartolacci said. 

Credit: Andrew Bartolacci
James and Andrew Bartolacci at the Big Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in December 2021.

The longtime Detroit Lions fans, James and Lou Ann, are now cheering on Matthew Stafford and the L.A. Rams after the quarterback didn’t have much success in Michigan. 

“We feel like he deserves it after putting up with the Lions organization,” Bartolacci said. 

Credit: AP
Los Angeles Rams' Matthew Stafford during the first half of the NFC Championship NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

On Friday, the Michigan couple will fly to L.A. and hopefully see the former Lions quarterback become a Super Bowl champion.  

“The strength that it takes to fight for your life as well as for each other, I just thought they deserved it more than I did,” Bartolacci said.  

Irsay is also footing the bill for the flights and hotel room, along with some spending money on the side. 

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