Whelp. I guess you can’t spell “settling out of court” without E-L-I. I see where Clem has weighed in on Eli Manning buying off his accusers, putting an end to his fraud case, and he sees it as a great day. Which makes sense, since Clem is a Giants fan. I, on the other hand, am a huge fan of Truth. Of Rule of Law. I’m happy when Lady Justice walks up to any man who’s been wronged, puts her supple arms of Fairness around his neck and slips him her sweet tongue of Righteousness into his mouth. So for me, this is a dark day indeed.
Most notably, emails allegedly sent by Manning in 2010 raised serious questions about his honesty in business dealings. The emails depict Manning as sending a message to Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba, asking him to hand over “two helmets that can pass as game-used.” … Skiba later sent an email to sports collector Eric Inselberg in which Skiba suggested that Manning was unwilling to provide his actual game-used jerseys. Instead, Manning allegedly offered jerseys that could pass as game-used. …
Had the case gone to trial, Manning would have been called to testify (and unlike in a criminal trial, where the Fifth Amendment ensures that a defendant is not required to testify, Manning, as a civil defendant, would have had to testify once called to the stand). To be sure, Manning would have faced hostile questions from attorneys for the plaintiffs, trying to depict Manning as intentionally misrepresenting the authenticity of equipment that he knew would be sold to consumers. Manning would have also been asked, under oath, if he ever once altered the physical appearance of a jersey not used in a game to make it seem “game-worn.”
In addition, a trial would have involved expert testimony on sports memorabilia business practices and on the authenticity of equipment and apparel sold as game-worn. Further, a great deal of attention would have been paid to how the Giants handle equipment and apparel.
So sure, if all you’re so shortsighted all you care about is the Giants getting their 111-103 career QB and 3-time NFL Interceptions Champion on the field, then this should make you happy. But this isn’t my America. The America where a man’s word is his solemn oath. And where his honor is worth more than anything he could sell his sweaty laundry for. In my America, courts are a level playing field where the powerless can stand up to the powerful. And no force on this good Earth can deny a man his day in court.
But that’s not happening in this case. It says everything you need to know about Eli’s character that he got into bed with memorabilia dealers and he was the sleaziest person between the sheets. Being dishonorable toward the very people who care about him most: Those Giants fans willing to spend their (so called) hard earned money to own a little piece of the QB they love so much. Make no mistake that this is what he is doing to you and to our whole legal system:
He’s Ernie McCracken after winning the Odor Eaters tournament. “I’ve finally got enough money that I can buy my way out of anything! I can do anything I want and I’ll walk! Finally Big Ern is finally above the law!” And when that happens, we all lose. We’ll never get to read his testimony under oath. He’ll never have to turn over his phone. We won’t get the full content of his emails. He won’t be exposed as the liar and con man he is. And we’ll never get to see him make Mark Brunell cry on live TV.
So congratulations to Eli Manning and the Giants. And to everyone who enjoys collecting memorabilia or who believes we live in a world of fairness and justice? My condolences.