Friday, April 14, 2017

E-Lie Manning and the New York Giants are frauds


Apparently, Eli Manning has a lot of skeletons in his closet. By skeletons, I mean his game worn football jerseys, helmets, and other memorabilia that he never actually sold -- but said he did.

Today, the New York Post reported that Eli Manning handed over a self-incriminating email to the Bergen County Superior Court alluding that he and a team equipment manager deliberately sold fake memorabilia to Steiner Sports, trying to pass it off as game-worn. Sad!

This exclusive piece was a collaboration between Kaja Whitehouse and Bruce Golding. They obtained court documents filed for a civil racketeering lawsuit against the New York Giants, Eli Manning, Equipment Director Joe Skiba, John Mara, and memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports, among others less prominent who weren't mentioned.

The document acquired by the reporters had transcripts of recovered emails between Manning and Skiba in which the quarterback asked for two helmets that could be passed off as authentic and game-worn, as well from him to his marketing agent, Alan Zucker, where he confirms that he'll have the memorabilia by tomorrow. The two exchanges took place less than 20 minutes from each other.

Whitehouse and Golding also cited related documents allege that the emails prove he intentionally was committing fraud in a contract he had with Steiner and that the Giants failed to produce emails between Manning and an official NFL email address. Manning turned the emails over himself, and according to the plantiff's lawyer, someone working for the Giants seemingly deleted the emails. The reporters mention that the team "claims to have no document destruction policy."

The story insinuates that Eli and the Giants conspired to sell fake equipment and cover up the fact, respectively. In addition to the three plaintiffs frustrating stories, defendant Steiner sports is also portrayed to be a victim of Manning and the Giants organization. However, the manner in which the reporters mention at the end of the story that Steiner had no statement to give The New York Post make me hesitant to believe that they had nothing to do with the scandal.

Some side notes:

1. Why does a man who's achieved as much success and wealth as Eli Manning feel the need to do this, and rip off the fans who adore him? How much of his $45 million net worth is a result of some chump equipment manager's hard work? How long did these guys have to bang a few helmets together before they looked game-worn? I'm imagining some random guy in an expensive NFL Pro Shop thread just rolling around in a backyard trying to make the grass stains look authentic.

2. If you're the die-hard Giants fan who paid $4,300 for a Manning helmet, what is your reaction here? This guy was apparently crazy enough to buy it to begin with, and then compare every scratch with the zoomed-in Google images of Eli's helmet from the 2007-2008 Super Bowl season. He even took out a black light to search for sticky residue from the velcro. With that type of diligence, I'd only imagine that he won't stop at this lawsuit. How betrayed must he feel? It's just a matter of time before he takes his support to an organization with a little more class all together.

2. Naturally, the Giants are standing behind their quarterback with statements defending his character. This should come as no surprise after they also stood behind their man Josh Brown. Of course they're jumping to protect Eli as well, considering they're both on the same sinking ship. To me, this organizations true colors have really shown over the course of the year. I'd rather my balls be wrongly accused of being deflated than (more probable than not) fraudulent.

All in all, this is pretty sad. The memorabilia industry has had issues being seen as trustworthy and legitimate. This is just one more reason why you can't trust this shady marketplace unless you have actual video proof of Ty Cobb or Teddy Ballgame actually singing some balls. Good luck.

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