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Are You Sure Your Sports Memorabilia is Real?

A lawsuit filed in Bergen County alleges the New York Giants in general, and Eli Manning in particular, have been hoodwinking the public with “game-used” items that never got on the field.

Eli Manning, New York Giants questioned for game-used memorabilia
Eli Manning of the New York Giants is chased by Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images)

As reported in the New York Post, the suit alleges that the Giants had various people, including a dry cleaner in Rutherford, distress unused items, such as jerseys and helmets, to make them look like they had been used in a game. I’ve always wondered how people who pay a ton of money for memorabilia can be absolutely sure the item was used as advertised; I know they have people who authenticate them, but, according to this lawsuit, you can’t even trust the items that come directly from the team. The man who filed the suit, Eric Inselberg, was considered an expert in Giants’ swag. One of the most potentially embarrassing allegations in the lawsuit is that the Pro Football Hall of Fame is home to a fake: the 2008 helmet allegedly worn by Eli Manning in the Super Bowl victory over New England. While that allegation is getting the most attention, another allegation is potentially much more damaging: Inselberg says Giants officials told employees to lie to a grand jury.

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