Word around town is my close, personal [imaginary] friend, Eli Manning, was involved in a scheme to fraud others by passing off sports memorabilia as in-game worn. The “smoking gun” is an old aol email from Eli and a Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba that reportedly states:
2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli
This email is the only proof reported, and the email was provided by Eli himself. Here’s the thing though, Eli provided the evidence himself – so you can say he committed his own turnover, again. Nothing new to report here.
And secondly, aol? That’s so Eli…
Skiba allegedly admitted to plaintiff Eric Inselberg that Manning had asked him to create “BS” versions of a game-used helmet and jersey because Manning “didnt want to give up the real stuff.”
If this is true, heck, I don’t condone it but I understand the sentimental value for old Eli.
Channeling my Better Call Saul here, may I propose some in-game equipment is never scuffed up, and hence the need to produce helmets that actually look game used. That’s merely what Eli and co. were trying to do. Produce game used items that look game used vs. game used items that look brand new.
That’s your defense.
Here’s the thing. I don’t know much about the memorabilia in question, but I’m pretty sure the two Super Bowl rings he and the team got me are legit. And on that note, I’m giving Eli a pass (pun intended).
* All satire aside, if time shows these allegations are correct, then obviously Eli and company have defrauded their fans, the companies involved and clearly tarnished their reputation as ethical, honest human beings. My kid wrote to the Giants and received autographed memorabilia from one of his favorite Giants last year.
As a parent and fan myself, hearing these allegations make me lose a little bit of respect for the organization and makes me question the authenticity of items previously acquired.