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Did Eli Manning create 'fake memorabilia' so he could keep the real thing

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According to a lawsuit filed by a collector, the New York Giants and their quarterback Eli Manning created fake "game-worn" football memorabilia in order to pass it off as the real thing and sell it.

The collector, Eric Inselberg, even claims in the suit that one of the pieces is currently residing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. 

The filing claims that a supposed helmet worn by Manning in the 2008 Super Bowl is among a whole host of forgeries that have been passed off  by Manning and the Giants as game worn, so that the quarterback could keep the real deals for himself. 

Among the many claims that could tarnish Eli Manning’s near perfect reputation is an alleged 2005 incident in which he allegedly asked Giants Equipment Manager Joe Skiba for an old, beat-up game helmet — and then took the headgear, signed it, and put it on the market, “falsely claiming that it was a helmet used during his 2004 rookie season” it says in the suit. 

Included in the lawsuit is a 2008 e-mail exchange between Inselberg and Joe Skiba, in which Skiba appears to acknowledge he created fake game-worn gear at Manning's request.

“Hey Joe, my buddy was offered an eli game used helmet and jersey. Are these the bs ones eli asked you to make up because he didnt want to give up the real stuff?” Inselberg writes in the exchange.

Skiba -- replying from account “jskiba@giants.nfl.net” -- writes, “BS ones, you are correct…”

Spokesmen for the Giants have come out and ridiculed the claim saying, "The suit is completely without any merit whtasoever and we will defend it vigorously," said the team in a statement. "We will not otherwise comment on pending litigation." 

Peyton Manning was asked about the events in his press conference yesterday but declined to comment on the matter.

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Topics:
NFL
Eli Manning
New York Giants

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