I was never able to get around to this whole Eli Manning fraud story for a number of reasons, but ultimately I’m happy with this comic, so I hope it was worth the wait.

Reason #1 – I could never think of anything funny enough.
Reason #2 – I’ve spent years cultivating Eli as a wall-eyed childish doof; criminal fraud didn’t seem in line with the sort of character that I’ve made up.
Reason #3 – I kept waiting for more information to come out but we never really got that much and the story kept vanishing behind other more interesting things

But yeah. This week the case finally ended with a settlement. We’ll never know officially if Eli knowingly committed a fraud by giving those dudes fake worn sports memorabilia. I think society has kind of trained us to view settlements out of court as an unofficial admission of guilt, but there is always the possibility that the plaintiffs were trying to more or less extort him and after years of pushing Eli got sick of fighting it and shut them up with a check. This was going on for 4 years and was about to go to trial. The trial was liable to damage Eli’s cred regardless of the verdict or truth because people have inherent biases about this sorta thing. People who hate Eli probably already think it’s true. People who love Eli probably already think it’s false. Eli knows for sure if he’s a fraud. The equipment manager knows too, I guess. A few people must know for sure. That’s it.

I certainly hope it’s not true and there is certainly a possibility it isn’t but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. This is Eli, the brother of a QB who somehow got alleged sexual assault swept under a rug and also rejected the Chargers under circumstances that people still debate to this day. I occasionally read hints of Eli being trouble in college before getting his act together, things nobody talks about. Nobody’s perfect. Everyone has a few skeletons.

Ultimately though I struggle to be all that bothered by this. If what Eli did was true, I still have trouble being all that offended. Sports memorabilia hawkers are kinda skeevy and it’s a weird business. Basically Eli supposedly had two helmets faked as used to sell as such. I guess that’s technically fraud but on the grand scale of terrible things football players have done faking a couple helmets as used just doesn’t activate my outrage-o-meter that much. It’s not great but at least he’s not beating people. It might have been a pattern, a secret ring that reached far beyond the two helmets, but all we know for sure is that just two helmets were involved. Nothing more. Maybe Eli did have an entire fraud operation going. Maybe Eli is the kingpin of sports memorabilia crime. That would be so ridiculous that it would kinda own if it was true.

Another thing I’ve read is that one of the helmets at least was supposed to be from one of the super bowls, I think 46. If that’s true, I have an even harder time being bothered by it, because if I was a player who just achieved something like that I’d want to keep that helmet too. If I won a super bowl and found out someone was going to take my helmet to sell it, I don’t know if I’d want that. That’s a special moment and I’d probably want it to frame forever, or at least to sell to a pawn shop years later as my life crumbles and I need fast cash.

So there you go. Is Eli a fraud? Do you think Eli is a criminal mastermind? Do you think these memorabilia people are skeezeballs? Did you hear laurel or yanny? Discuss.

If Eli did do a fraud, I think having his legacy forever tarnished by Ben McAdoo is punishment enough.