Social media’d out at a Cubs Game

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Social media’d out at a Cubs Game
By Ray Hanania — 
I realized I was “social media‘d out” when I was sitting at the Cubs game last week and I didn’t look at my cell phone once. I wasn’t sure if it was because the cell phone was off or because the Cubs were losing to the Florida Marlins so badly — the Marlins won the game 13 to 3.

But the four hour game with my son, Aaron, was so much fun I realized that sitting in front of a computer playing a stupid, worthless game or checking email every two minutes was truly a waste of time.

There were a lot of live distractions at the ball park that the virtual world of Facebook or Twitter can’t compete with. It was hot out and the women were beautiful. Cubs games attract the best looking gals — I know that sounds sexist but I also know that women who go to Cubs games will take that as a compliment.

Like everyone in their 50s, I am on a heart medication blood thinner — the pharmaceutical companies have figured out another way to get money out of me on a regular basis. What that means is that each time the hawker passes in the aisle selling beer, I have to grimace like I have been cheated. No booze. And what’s a Cubs game without booze?

I mean, how else can we handle always losing?

The media is filled with negative stories about sports figures on dope, beating or cheating on their wives, or using racial epithets and four-letter words that it can tarnish the image of most of the athletes.

What happened to the good guys in sports? A few are still there. One of them is Alfonso Soriano, the Cubs left fielder. Between innings, he’d practice a few catches with someone on the sidelines. And when the game would start, he’d turn around and point to some kid he’d spot in the bleachers and throw them the practice ball. He did that every inning. What a nice guy!

Of course, Soriano has a lot to be happy about. The Cubs signed him to an eight year $136 million contract. That would make me happy, too.

If I had that salary, I might be able to actually afford the baseball game. I wonder if apple pies have gone up in price as fast as baseball tickets? Two tickets cost $96 to sit in the far left field Terrace. Further down for $300, I could have bought some empty box seats along the left field wall near the dugout.

That would make my son happy who brought his Wilson mitt hoping to catch a foul ball or get a player’s autograph. Not able to get any autographs, I did buy him a Cubs’ Louisville Slugger, for $79. Yikes!

Everything cost so much. The hotdogs were $4.75. The bottled pop was $4.75. And the booze that I couldn’t drink because of the medication cost $7. And that booze was selling fast.

Well, my pocket book took a hit. I abandoned Facebook for a half-a-day. But being at Wrigley Field reminded me of when I went there once with my dad in 1960. It was a simple time. Things were cheap. The only “friends” you had were people you actually knew. There was nothing to distract you from having a good time with your son.

And all the gals at the ballpark looked hot back then, too.

Ah darn. It’s about that time when I have to take a pill to pace my heart and slow it down again. Another pharmaceutical cost.

The price of enjoying a baseball game in today’s hi-tech world.

(Reach Ray Hanania at

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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