Eli Manning finally responded to accusations that he knowingly was involved in a “conspiracy to defraud collectors by pawning off phony game-worn gear as the real deal”. Manning is as angry as he’s ever been in his public life.
“It is one thing to write about my football or my play but when you are attacking my integrity, it definitely makes me angry,” Manning said. “I’ve tried to do everything with class and be a standup citizen, and that is what I’ve done and that is being attacked right now.”
The New York Post reported Manning turned over an alleged incriminating e-mail in connection to a 2014 civil racketeering lawsuit filed by three sports memorabilia collectors. Manning, the Giants, Giants equipment manager Joe Skiba, and Giants co-owner were named in the suit.
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The e-mail Manning turned over was from Apr. 27, 2010. Manning asked Skiba for “two helmets that could be passed as game used” according to the Post report.
One of the loudest voices attacking Manning’s character belongs to New Jersey governor (and admitted Dallas Cowboys fan) Chris Christie. Christie referred to the New York Giants quarterback as “the liar Eli Manning”.
“He got caught,” Christie said during a guest host appearance on Boomer and Carton, a morning drive radio program on WFAN 660 AM New York City. The show is also televised on the CBS Sports Network.
“Could you ever imagine Peyton being involved with this?” Christie asked. “No. Definitely not. Peyton’s smarter.”
Manning took the high road when asked what he thought about Christie’s comments.
“I can’t get concerned with that,” Manning said. “I think, again, my track record speaks for itself and so do the Giants, their history, and their history of doing things the right way speaks for itself.”
Manning didn’t call Christie out in the same manner he used on Tiki Barber a decade ago. No one, especially residents of the Garden State, would’ve blamed Manning if he did.
Christie certainly has taken residence in a glass house but still decided to throw stones.
His once promising political career is in ruins. Christie ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign. He was equally unsuccessful in getting close to Donald Trump after Trump secured the Republican Party’s nomination. Christie was also passed over as a vice-presidential pick and later dismissed from his position as head of Trump’s transition team after the election.
Two of Christie’s aides were convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud related to the intentional closing of traffic lanes near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee to purposely cause traffic jams. Two other Christie aides plead guilty on lesser counts. Both the prosecutors and defendants claimed the traffic jams were created because the mayor of Fort Lee didn’t support Christie’s 2013 gubernatorial campaign.
Christie also has the lowest approval rate of any governor in the country. According to a Morning Consult Poll, 71 percent of New Jersey voters are dissatisfied with the job Christie has done as governor. The same percentage of voters also felt he should’ve been tried for his role in the scandal that destroyed his political future. Christie will not seek re-election this fall.
Manning could’ve used any of that information to verbally castrate Christie…but he didn’t.
Christie appeared on his monthly radio show hours after Manning’s response. He appeared to do an about face…sort of.
“What I said was: it appeared he hadn’t told the truth,” Christie said. “That’s what the e-mail looks like.”
The sort of about face didn’t end there.
“I like Eli Manning,” Christie said. “I think he’s a really good guy. I’ve met him a number of times.”
Christie was then asked if he was purposely trying to get under Manning’s skin because the Giants begin the 2017 season on the road at the Cowboys.
“Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no,” he said. “I don’t have that kind of sway.”