EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Less than an hour after advancing to the Super Bowl, the New York Giants started delivering the bad news to many of their non-club season ticket holders.
While the Giants were going to Indianapolis to face the New England Patriots on Feb. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium, most of the non-club season tickets holders weren't.
The Giants sent out emails roughly 50 minutes after their 20-17 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers announcing the results of a random computer selection that was based on seniority. Most emails included the word "unfortunately."
"Talk about a downer," season ticket holder Bob Gray of West Caldwell said after of getting the email while he was still celebrating. "At least they could have waited until the next day.'
Nazo Haroutunian of Hillside in Bergen County was one of the fortunate lottery winners, even though he has been a season ticket holder for only two years.
The 38-year-old was still awake around 11:30 p.m,, waiting for his game-induced palpitations to subside and explaining to his wife how the Super Bowl ticket lottery worked.
"No sooner than I finished telling her, by some act of God, I got three emails from the Giants," he said.
The first was a congratulatory note on making the Super Bowl, The second involved buying team merchandise and the third was word that he could buy Super Bowl tickets, at $900 a pop.
"The palpitations started again," said Haroutunian said, adding that he immediately went on line and started looking for airfares and hotel rooms.
When asked if he was going.
"The short answer is `Yes!" he said. "I got very very lucky."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the stadium in Indianapolis has a seating capacity of 68,000 with 12,500 tickets coming off the top for various other needs. The Giants get a 17 ½ percent share of the remaining 55,500,or roughly 9,700.
Giants players, coaches and officials get a share of that total. Team spokesman Pat Hanlon did not immediately know how many were set aside for fans.