Former NJ Governor Chris Christie once slammed Eli Manning over QB's role in fake memorabilia scandal - "Liar"
Despite being one of the best quarterbacks in New York Giants history, Eli Manning is a rather divisive figure among fans. On one hand, his first of two Super Bowl wins against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots is the stuff of legend, as he led a 10-6 wild card roster to triumph over an unbeaten team that can arguably be called one of the greatest ever assembled.
On the other, though, fans can be forgiven for thinking he was only, at best, a decent player who could never live up to his elder brother Peyton. And that is not to mention a time when he almost ruined his image overnight.
In 2014, Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab and Sean Godown, three sports memorabilia collectors, filed a civil suit against Manning for fraud and racketeering, alleging that he had been selling them fraudulent memorabilia, specifically helmets. Their main piece of evidence was this 2010 email that Manning sent to Joe Skiba, the Giants' equipment manager at the time:
"2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli."
Chris Christie was the governor of New Jersey (where the Giants are based) at the time of the scandal. And speaking about it on KFAN 660-AM's Boomer & Carton in 2017, he was very critical of the quarterback:
"The liar Eli Manning - he got caught. Could you ever imagine Peyton being involved in this? No, definitely not. Peyton's smarter."
He also claimed that the Giants themselves were complicit:
"The Giants participated in this as well, so John Mara's going to have to open the checkbook. Now there's all kinds of ramifications for the Giants as a brand. Are they a lying cheating franchise?"
What eventually happened in Eli Manning's fake memorabilia case?
The Giants themselves and owner John Mara were also named co-defendants in that lawsuit. Manning, who was on the downswing of his career by then, denied all allegations, saying:
"I will say I have never done what I have been accused of doing. I have no reason nor have I had any reason to do anything of that nature. I have done nothing wrong and I have nothing to hide, and I know when this is done everyone will see it the same way."
The Giants QB eventually settled with his accusers in 2018. Terms of the settlement were not revealed, but the attorneys for both sides did say the following:
"All parties are grateful to have the matter, which began in 2014, concluded and are now focused on football, the fans and the future."