The 108 Interview Series – Tony Marchese

Here at the 108, it is our job….our duty to bring to you the great personalities of White Sox twitter, either via tweet / photo / video or blog post. In continuing with the tradition of bringing you “the goods” from White Sox twitter we have our interview with the founder of On Tap Sports Net and the co-host of ChiSoxWeekly, Tony Marchese.

Likes

Favorite Game That You Were At

Tough choice here because Dayan Viciedo’s first home run was magical, but last September’s win over the Cubs in the 108 with Jonnie Nonnie, Jake Trojan, Jen and Beefloaf was a hell of a time.

Favorite All Time Player That Doesn’t Have a Statue On the Concourse

People forget Willie Harris scored the winning run in game 4 of the 05 series, that has to be worth at least a statue, right?

Favorite Drink and Dinner at the Park

Budweiser

Favorite Place to Sit

If I am with the family, club level in LF right near the kid’s area is where I am at. There is also a bar conveniently located right there as well. I have a 20-game plan in the 103 with my guy Jake Trojan but we end up in 108 or 149.

Favorite Uniform

83s.

Favorite Giveaway

Hawk Alarm clock. First game my son and I went to together.

First known user of the Hawk alarm clock

Favorite Theme Night

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day

Dislikes

What irks you the most about White Sox fans?

Every fan base probably has some of this, but don’t be a jackass to the players on social media. I’ve seen some people attack players directly and it was absolutely uncalled for. These guys are all human too. If you feel the need to express your hatred for a way someone’s playing the ballgame there are plenty of other outlets.

What is the worst part of being a Sox fan?

Playing second fiddle to the Cubs. It’s everywhere… finding Sox merchandise or apparel at a store even on the Southside is a problem. Going out of town and saying you’re from Chicago it’s automatically assumed you’re a Cubs fan.

Worst part of the game day experience?

Waiting in line for the bathroom. I’d imagine Jonda spends 50% of the game waiting to piss.

What really grinds your gears?

Lately it has to be going on a beer run and the store only carrying Budweiser in Cubs cans.

Least Favorite White Sox player of all time

Brent Morel

Game Day

Most memorable experience as a White Sox fan?

There was a game my uncle took my brother and I to when we were way younger. This was mid-90’s before they removed the top rows off the upper-deck. My brother and I brought a slinky and while the White Sox were getting destroyed most of the fans around us were focused on if either of us could get the slinky to go all the way down the stairs. At one-point people started chanting so loud for the slinky that Ray Durham looked up to see what the hell was going on. Some drunk dude gave my little brother $20 and told him it was the most entertaining thing he’d seen at the ballpark. Not sure why this is so memorable, but it sticks out.

Ballpark experience, how could it be better?

Put a roof on the stadium. This is Chicago, rainouts suck for everyone.
Also the Ballpark App is terrible and frustrates the hell out of me.

Best Sox Park hack?

If the forecast is for rain buy a stadium club pass.

What brings you back for every game?

The smell.

Feelings on the wave?

As a kid I thought it was fine, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized it’s a nuisance to those trying to watch the game, just sit down. It doesn’t irritate me as much as the Woo though.

Which Gate is your favorite to enter the park from?

5.

How Early Do You Get To Games?

I run late to almost everything, but I get there as early as I can. If there is a tailgate I try and get to the lots around when they open.

What Do You Bring To Games?

People whose names start with J. My wife Jen, Jake Trojan, Jonnie Nonnie, Jonda.

How Many Games Do You Go To Each Year?

As many as I can. It normally falls between 15-20, but this year it’ll probably be closer to 30-35.

Section 108 Questions

What is your favorite baseball word?

Dinger

What is your least favorite baseball word?

Cubs

What gets you excited about the White Sox?

Seeing them start to turn the corner on the rebuild.

What makes you sad about the White Sox?

They don’t play enough games in October.

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you love?

Fireworks

What sound or noise at the ballpark do you hate?

I absolutely hate Woo-ing. Not much makes me want to leave the ballpark or turn a game off on TV but this comes pretty damn close.

What is your favorite Hawkism?

He Gone!

We love ChiSoxWeekly (the podcast you host with Jon Suarez and Jonnie Nonnie). Tell us what you enjoy most about doing that podcast.

We have had a lot of really cool guests on that show, too many to name here but if you were a guest on ChiSox Weekly and you’re reading this I appreciate you spending the time to talk baseball with me. Getting the opportunity to meet and pick the brains of other Sox fans and even a few prospects has been awesome. Everyone has different feelings and thoughts about this team and providing an outlet to hear all the them, I feel sets us apart from some of the other shows that are out there. While it’s not always possible to bring a guest on every week, we do our best to try to do so.

Name a key strength for each of your ChiSoxWeekly co-hosts.

Jonda has the ability to make just about any situation funny which is huge because when talking about baseball it’s so easy to get overly serious. He can make us all laugh with a well-placed one-liner.

Jonnie Nonnie – He is the most organized and prepared dude I have ever met. He keeps the show organized and helps Jonda and I stay on track with things. His ability to steer conversation and get the most out of guests and co-hosts has been and is huge for us.

On Tap Sports Net is your baby, it’s a gigantic undertaking, can you please explain what it is, what the hell compelled you, a man with a family to take on such an endeavor?

On Tap Sports Net is a sports blog and podcast network covering Chicago sports (for now). We give you a little bit of everything, from news articles that keep you informed on your favorite team, to opinion based blogs, podcasts featuring personalities surrounding the team, and most exciting to us is our lineup of On Tap shows which serve almost as an alternative post-game show for your favorite team. Those shows are normally quick 20-30 minutes about what happened that day or the day before. If you’d like to check out our Sox related show it is called Sox On Tap and can be found on twitter right here: @SoxOnTap

Why and how this started is a pretty long story, but the short version is a group of friends came together over beers and decided this was a good idea and now we’re rolling with it.

The original idea was actually sort of conceived last September after the Sox had beaten the Cubs and Jonnie, Jake Trojan, Jen (my wife) and I closed down the parking lots with Beefloaf. We headed over and continued #108ing over at Schinnicks and that is when the first discussion of something like On Tap had started.

We kicked the tires on it through winter and honestly if the White Sox had signed just signed Manny Machado and I wasn’t awake all-night refreshing twitter for Ken Rosenthal updates, On Tap would probably still just be an idea. That’s because Buzz who was writing for SM at the time worked nights, so while I couldn’t sleep, he was up working, and we would talk Sox and other stuff and kind of eventually landed on a common dream and personal we both have. On St. Patrick’s Day I finally was able to get Buzz, Jonnie, and I together and about exactly one month later On Tap Sports Net was launched.

How do you manage such a large operation, besides tons and tons of #108ing?

#108ing is a core piece of our business model. This will come off completely cliché, but it’s the truth… There is a shit ton of work that goes into the operation, but honestly it is all the team around me. We have such a solid group of guys who are all here for the same reason, they love their teams and are passionate about covering them. I’m lucky to have the team I do. I also have an amazing wife who not only puts up with all this nonsense, but she is always there helping me with stuff.

If you could add one thing to your On Tap Sports Net empire, what would it be?

I would clone Jonnie Nonnie. The dude puts in so much time and effort into running the day to day stuff for On Tap. From editing articles, helping other bloggers, site design, social media, talent evaluation, covering the Blackhawks, producing and publishing shows, planning tailgates, the man does it all. Someone once said he’s the hardest working guy on #WhiteSoxTwitter and I honestly can attest to it. It would be great if we had two of him, especially when he goes up to Wisconsin for a week at a time.

What do you feel is your biggest strength as a podcaster?

I’m not sure honestly. Never really thought of that. I’d say I’m probably replacement level.

What do you feel is your biggest weakness as a podcaster?

I am somewhat of a perfectionist and can spend way too much time in post-production editing stuff that in the end isn’t necessary to edit.

The ChiSoxWeekly / OnTapSportsNet crew is a big drinking crew, if you had to have a drinking contest vs the 108ers (BeefLoaf, Chorizy-E & MSS) which 3 from your crew are taking us on? Who wins?

If I’m riding into battle, I’m taking Pat Comiskey and Jonnie Nonnie with me. Those guys can drink. This competition would somehow end in a tie.

The ChiSoxWeekly / OnTapSportsNet crew have hosted some excellent tailgates this year, any plans to increase the amount of tailgates in 2020 and going forward, especially considering you have Jonnie Nonnie who although he is young is a big shooter in the tailgate culture?

We have had a few pretty damn good tailgates so far this year. Of course, we want to increase the amount next year, we have some pretty cool stuff and ideas in the works even outside of the traditional Lot B tailgate. As Jonda would say… lookout for that.

What ever happened to “Deck Cat”?

Haha. For those unaware, I just had my deck re-done this spring and bought a new patio set. The day the furniture arrived, Deck Cat did as well. Deck Cat must have just walked off the set of Pet Cemetery and found my deck as a habitable environment. After multiple attempts to remove Deck Cat were unsuccessful and it completely ripped my patio screen door to shreds, I was tasked with (told by my wife) to try and chase it away with a broom. I probably should have had this exchange recorded, but I was eventually able to successfully scare Deck Cat on to my neighbors’ deck and I haven’t seen him since. Sometimes while I sip on a beer on my deck I wonder about who he is possibly terrorizing now.

Fuck, Marry, Kill with the 108ers (BeefLoaf, Chorizy-E, MySoxSummer).

Fuck Beefloaf. – MSS told us to get a room at some point in a group chat.

Marry MySoxSummer – stay at home dads who can manage two kids are hard to come by.

Kill Chorizy-E – He’s the only one of the 108 OG crew to not appear as a solo guest on ChiSox Weekly.

If you could only have one, which would it be? Sox World Series or Hawks Stanley Cup

Sox World Series. I’ve gotten to witness the best decade in Blackhawks hockey history in my 20s and it was pretty damn special. I was a freshman in high school in 2005 and probably took that World Series for granted.

Who will be the XFL guy for On Tap Sports Net?

Great question. Buzz would probably make a great XFL guy with all of his energy, but he’s got a ton going on with the other 45 podcasts he’s on. I guess I should put an ad on craigslist for an XFL guy…

Who wins in a basketball game: ChiSoxWeekly v FromThe108

FromThe108 without question. I’m not sure we’d ever get a rebound.

When are you going to have Tony On Food (your twitter famous dad) on one of your podcasts?

My dad’s pretty awesome. It’s kinda funny that some of #WhiteSoxTwitter probably knew of him long before they knew who I was. I’d love to have him on a show. I think having him review ballpark foods would be amazing. He is also a frequent traveler so we may need to send him to other ballparks to review their food offerings as well.

Do you have any favorite #108ing stories you’d like to share, ballpark or otherwise?

I have a decent amount of #108ing stories, but I’ll pull a Wally and say come find me and I’ll tell you some.

What’s your greatest fear about the “rebuild”?

A labor strike washes out the 2021 season and not only are we left with no baseball; I can see that being the year things all come together.

What is there about this team that excites you the most?

The way these guys all seem to have fun with each other. Look at the change in club house attitude from 3 years ago. You can tell by watching them they have a bond and that’s special. When you have a group of people aligned for a common goal you get that extra effort out of everyone. Watching the way these guys celebrate their victories excites me because there are many more to come.

Give us a #HotTake about the rebuild.

Nick Madrigal was a terrible draft pick.

Favorite White Sox Twitter Account (Besides @fromthe108) and why?

Pete Hand @_AlohaMrHand. He isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, but he is also respectful of other opinions. Excellent dude.

Person from White Sox Twitter that you’d most like to meet and why?

I’ve met a great portion of Sox Twitter at tailgates or down in the 108, but this has to be a tie between Jeff the Giant (@SoxofWhite) and White Sox Sal (@kimcheesal). I hope to see both of those guys at a game sometime in the near future.

Favorite Non-White Sox Twitter Account and why?

Jose Canseco. He’s not in White Sox twitter but imagine if he was.

What do you like best about @fromthe108 ?

You guys are all genuine, down to earth good dudes.

Favorite White Sox related blog or podcast and why?

FromThe108.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink for #108ing? Be specific and feel free to go with more than one if you need to. What about your favorite beer style?

If you know me you know my go to is Budweiser, but I also dabble in craft beers as well. IPAs, Pale Ales, Lagers, sometimes I’ll even go for a darker beer if I am in the mood. When it comes to beer I am pretty much an Equal Opportunity 108er.

Favorite cut of Steak? Prepared?

Filet Mignon – Medium

Gimme an “Uncle Rico” moment from your prior sports playing past.

Threw a no-hitter in a rain shortened 4 inning game in 8th grade. (Still counts in my book)

Where would you take @ChiPartyAunt out on a date?

For all of my very important dates I always consult my city correspondent Stefon before making any decisions…

“Chicago’s hottest club is… Section 108. They have everything. A view of a giant goose head, a giant yellow pole that protects you from Carson Fulmer, ChiSoxJonda spilling beer into a waterfall, a seat with no cup holder, Pete Hand, a man with a lot of cash and great dating advice, a bag full of last year’s giveaway items, Chorizy, and a Beefloaf.”

“What’s a Beefloaf?”

“It’s that thing when you cross Fabio with a White Sox blogger and wind up with something that resembles this….

Favorite performance enhancing drug?

Any type of steroids. I’ve read Jose Canseco’s books and I am completely sold that all athletes should be using PEDS.

Who do you hate more Jim Belushi or John Cusack?

John Cusack

Happy Ending

What Other Chicago Teams Do You Enjoy

Huge Blackhawks fan.

Favorite Chicago Sports History Moment

Out of all the Stanley Cup runs the Blackhawks made seeing Marian Hossa out of the box for the OT winner against Nashville in 2010 was one of the best moments for me. I loved watching Hossa play even before he arrived in Chicago, and seeing a major offseason Free Agent signing make an impact in a playoff game like this in crunch time was so cool…

Favorite All-Time Sox Broadcaster

Hawk

Any Stories About Running Into or Meeting White Sox Players? Other Chicago Athletes?

Not off the top of my head. I ran into Rick Hahn once in club level but that’s about it.

Favorite Band?

This rotates constantly, I go through phases but if I look at my music history for the last year by most played its Volbeat.

A strong case can also be made for Dropkick Murphy’s, speaking of #108ing stories…

What is your favorite song?

This question gives me anxiety, I can’t pick just one.

Favorite TV Show (or Netflix or HBO or whatever the fuck)?

Probably a tie between The Sopranos and The Office.

Married or Single? Looking for a GF?

Happily married to the maker of the best Jell-o shots in Chicagoland.

Do you remember your first Sox game?

Somewhat, I know it was against Seattle. I’ve got the ticket stub somewhere.

What Player had the greatest impact on you?

Growing up it was probably Ray Durham, I played a decent amount of 2B as a kid so I was always watching Ray play. I was pretty upset when he was traded to Oakland but quickly became a Willie Harris fan.

What was the happiest day watching the Sox?

I’ll go with the obvious answer here and say the day we won the 2005 World Series. I don’t think much can top that.

What was the saddest day watching the Sox?

Hearing the final out listening to the 2000 White Sox lose to Seattle Mariners in the playoffs. I was 9 at the time and it was absolutely heartbreaking. Never forgive Kelly Wunsch.

What do you do for work? If you could be or do anything else – what?

I’m an IT guy. If I could do anything else I’d run On Tap full time.

If you could live in any other time, when might that be?

I would have loved to have been around to see the 1919 White Sox.

If you could have dinner with five White Sox Players, past and present, who would they be?

Frank Thomas, AJ, Bobby Jenks, Todd Frazier, Adam Eaton.

Let’s see what happens.

If you could change one thing in your past, what might that be?

I would have begged my parents to let me attend the 2005 parade.

What are you most proud of?

My relationship with my wife. Some people may or may not know this, but I met my wife and had kids real young. It was pretty damn hard navigating the adult world with kids and a mortgage while the rest of our friends were partying it up in college. We’ve made it through a shit ton together and I’m most proud of that.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone people respected and enjoyed being around.

What’s the one thing about you few people know?

I really debated putting this in here, most of the guys at On Tap already know this, but I grew up a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan. I haven’t watched much football since around 2008 so I probably couldn’t even name more than 2-3 guys on the Packers right now, but if I picked football back up at some point, they’re my team. I’ll probably lose a few followers for this and will catch a lot of hate for it, but a younger version of myself decided that the Cubs and Bears are the same thing and well, if you don’t like a Cub why would you like a Bear?

What do you dislike most about yourself?

I can get pretty unorganized at times.

What do you dislike most in others?

People who don’t try and expect everything to get handed to them.

What were your best/worst subjects in school?

I was pretty well-rounded subject-wise, but science and language arts were probably my best. Spanish wasn’t my forte.

What do you like doing in your spare time?;

I play an unhealthy amount of NHL on Xbox.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Nina Dobrev

What is your favorite movie?

The Departed

What is your favorite baseball movie?

Sandlot – get sucked into it every time its on.

Honorable mentions – Field of Dreams,

What is your biggest/weirdest fear?

You will never find me on a rollercoaster.

What would be your one super power?

Invisibility, I’d use it just to mess with people.

What would you change your name to?

I wouldn’t. Random fact, from my grandfather all the way down to my son we are all named Anthony Joseph Marchese, you don’t see names carry on like that very often these days, and I am honored to be a part of that.

What pet would you love to have?

Currently the proud owner of 2 dogs. That’s more than enough for me.

What’s your one biggest pet peeve?

Go Cubs Go makes my skin crawl.

What’s your one annoying habit?

I lose shit all the time.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

I think that is still TBD.

What ballpark would you like to visit?

Fenway was the top of my bucket list but I was able to visit there in 2009 and it was amazing. If I had to choose somewhere else, I would have to go with Oracle Park (San Fransisco)

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