Three sports memorabilia collectors who accused New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning of providing bogus ”game-worn” equipment that was sold to unsuspecting fans settled their lawsuit against the Super Bowl-winning quarterback on Monday Authentic DeSean Jackson Jersey
, days before the case was scheduled to go to trial.
A spokesman for the defendants, a group that included Manning, the Giants, two equipment managers and Steiner Sports, the company with whom Manning is under contract to provide game-worn jerseys and helmets for sale, said Monday night a settlement had been reached to resolve the claims. Details were not given.
Plaintiffs Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab and Sean Godown had sought triple the amount of their alleged losses – which totaled less than $20,000 combined – for buying two helmets billed as worn by Manning. They also had sought punitive damages, and claimed in court filings they would produce evidence that would ”show that Manning engaged in a pattern of knowingly providing items to Steiner Sports that he misrepresented as having been game-used when he knew they were not.”
Manning and the Giants had denied the allegations and characterized the suit as ”inflammatory and baseless” in court filings.
Jury selection was to have begun this week, but a death in the family of one of the attorneys had pushed that back to next Monday.
An attorney for the plaintiffs confirmed the settlement Monday night.
Inselberg filed the lawsuit in 2014. The suit claimed two helmets purchased by Inselberg and the two other plaintiffs – including one purportedly used by Manning during the Giants’ 2007-2008 Super Bowl season – were bogus. Inselberg alleged photographic experts using a technique called ”photomatching” could not find evidence that the helmets were ever used in games.
The Giants and Manning contend photomatching is unreliable because it does not take into account that helmets are routinely reconditioned during or after a season, the evidence of which might be found on the inside of the helmet and not the outside.
The stakes were raised in the lawsuit in April 2017 when Inselberg’s attorneys filed court documents that contained emails between Manning and equipment manager Joseph Skiba, who also was a defendant in the lawsuit. In one email, Manning asks Skiba to get ”2 helmets that can pass as game used.”
The email does not refer to the two helmets at issue in the lawsuit Authentic Ezekiel Elliott Jersey
, but Inselberg alleged it indicates a pattern of fraud.
When the emails went public last year, Manning angrily denied any wrongdoing. In a court filing this month, Manning’s attorney wrote that the email was intended to ask Skiba for two game-used helmets that would ”satisfy the requirement of being game-used.”
”Manning never instructed Joe Skiba to create any fraudulent memorabilia,” attorney Robert Lawrence wrote. ”Rather, Manning believed that if he asked Joe Skiba for his helmets, he received his game-used helmets and that the helmets he received from Skiba were his game-used helmets.”
In the same court filing, Manning’s lawyer accused Inselberg of being ”engaged in a decades-long memorabilia scheme” in which he obtained, without permission, game-used Giants equipment, including Manning’s, from Skiba and Skiba’s brother, Ed, as well as a local dry cleaner.
Patrick Mahomes II could have spent his offseason just about anywhere Authentic Khalil Mack Jersey
, back home in Texas perhaps, or maybe even some exotic locale befitting a 20-something starting quarterback in the NFL.
Instead, Mahomes spent it in Kansas City.
Deeply immersed in Kansas City.
He showed up wearing his Chiefs jersey to read ”Oh the Places You Will Go” to a group of children at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. He hung out with fans at a Jason Aldean concert at the downtown Sprint Center.
He wore a cutoff jersey from the T-Bones, a local independent minor league baseball team, and a pair of jorts while attending the NASCAR race at Kansas Speedway. And he threw out the first pitch when the Royals played the New York Yankees at Kauffman Stadium.
Throw in the dozens of times fans have bumped into Mahomes at restaurants or on the street, usually documented on social media accounts, and it would be safe to call him a man about town.
”I mean, the fans come out every single week and show passion and love for us and our team and what we’re doing here,” Mahomes said, ”so for me, I want to be back in the community, giving back. And just be a part of it, to show the same love and passion to them.”
That earnestness is refreshing in the modern NFL Authentic Stefon Diggs Jersey
, where large chasms have come to separate players from fans. Rarely do the biggest stars stick around town in the offseason, and even more rarely do players willingly embrace being part of the community.
Just this week, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown bemoaned the constant attention he receives, and the fact that he can’t even work out without people showing up and bothering him.
Mahomes would prefer people show up to work out with him.
The way he’s embraced living in Kansas City is not unlike the way Eric Hosmer and the rest of the Royals embraced the city during their back-to-back World Series runs. They would frequently pop up at local bars and buy a round for the entire place, even celebrating among the fans during playoff triumphs.
Maybe it’s something unique about Kansas City.
More likely, it’s something unique about those individuals.
The way Mahomes has engrossed himself in the city hasn’t been lost on the fanbase, either. He’s only started one game, a Week 17 win over Denver with nothing on the line, and has yet to really prove himself as a legitimate NFL starting quarterback. But he’s become one of the most popular players on the team, and his No. 15 jersey is one of the hottest sellers at local sporting goods stores.
Nor has it been lost on his teammates, who rave about the way the 22-year-old Mahomes has taken on the leadership role that Alex Smith once held, even though he’s one of the youngest guys in the locker room.
”He’s always been confident. From the time I’ve known him, he’s been confident Authentic Josh Norman Jersey
,” said safety Eric Berry, one of the Chiefs’ elder statesmen. ”He’s been sure of himself and he’s came out and made plays, so nothing’s really changed. Just now he’s with the ones (starters).”
Well, that’s a big change. The Chiefs have playoff aspirations this season, and whether they extend their streak of back-to-back AFC West titles will largely fall on Mahomes’ shoulders.
”He’s just going in there with confidence, talking with everybody, making the calls and staying on top of things,” running back Kareem Hunt said. ”He really wants to win and be a good quarterback.”
That’s the next crucial step for Mahomes: Showing he can win games.
It’s one thing for Mahomes to be a man among the people, popping up all over town and snapping photos and signing autographs until every fan is content.
It’s quite another to keep them happy by performing well on the field, where even the most popular players get lambasted after bad games.
Smith went 50-26 as the starter in Kansas City and many fans couldn’t wait for him to leave.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid doesn’t seem concerned about the pressure getting to the Chiefs’ first-round pick from last year’s draft. He points out that Mahomes had an entire year to learn the ropes, and that he has not only absorbed the Chiefs’ vast playbook but broken down every nuance of it.
”He’s phenomenal,” Reid said. ”He’s got great leadership. He loves playing. He’s absorbing everything and now he’s just got to do it. He’s got to just go practice and work through it and massage each play and see how it works against these different coverages and he’s so willing. That’s the part you appreciate.”
— Authentic Womens Cassius Marsh Jersey