benjamin eckstein fruit fancy

Benjamin Eckstein’s Fruit Fancy

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Gimme a BANANA! Gimme a WHOLE team of BANANAS!

The Savannah Bananas announced today that they will be playing Banana Ball year-round both in Savannah and around the country. My heart is FULL! Starting in 2023, the Bananas will play every game with the rules of Banana Ball. Rules that include a two-hour time limit, no stepping out, no bunting, no walks, and foul balls caught by fans are outs, which is my FAVORITE. And probably why they have 80,000 fans on the Banana Ball waiting list for tickets. Not sure if you’ve seen it, but ESPN+ has an original series “Bananaland” that is MUST-SEE TV!

Just thinking about how cool it would be to have an ALL-FRUIT LEAGUE! In the West, we could have the Seattle Strawberries, the Albuquerque Apples, the Portland Pears, the Glendale Grapefruits and the Los Angeles Limes. Back east, it would be the Pittsburgh Peaches, the Philadelphia Plums, the Boston Blueberries, the Miami Mangoes and the New York Nectarines. And while he is not a fruit, Kevin BACON would be my first choice for commissioner. If there are any objections, we could switch to Brad PITT, Halle BERRY, Fiona APPLE or Darryl STRAWBERRY!

Just a quick warning about following trends blindly. They DON’T always cash. Great example was this past Saturday when the Hawaii trend blew into the handicapping universe. The Rainbow Warriors had covered 11 of their last 12 home openers, and were getting a big fat PLUS NINE points against Vanderbilt. Easy money, right? WRONG! The Commodores stormed Honolulu and didn’t stop until they flew back home to Nashville with a GINORMOUS 63-10 blowout.

The trend hitting this week comes from Ohio, where Akron rolls into its home opener on an UGLY 0-7 run against the spread. The Zips are a 14.5-point favorite against St. Francis (PA), so we would advise you to handle with care, or not handle at all.

In our last column, we had an EASY-BREEZY Sportsbook when we went OVER in the first quarter of the Hawaii-Vanderbilt game. The first-quarter total was 13 and they combined for 21 points. BANG! Looking to stay perfect and will drop some cash on the 1st Q total in the Pittsburgh-West Virginia game. Once again, the total should be around 10.5 points, and the way Pitt’s offense rolls in home openers (106 points the last two years), OVER should be MONEY in the bank!

Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America’s Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at He is beloved by most, when he picks Sportsbooks, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his email... [email protected].