“Family, Football & This Adventure We Call Life” is a year-round column by Nate Polvogt that shares a Colorado dad’s outlook on life and his fantasy football advice. Nate enters the offseason with his favorite value dynasty trade targets, a message about the real punk rock and an interview with Jord Samolesky of Propagandhi.
I’ve written in these pages about my love of music. I am nothing, if not punk rock at my core. But not that sh** you hear on the radio. I’m talking about real punk rock music, the type that stands for something.
To remind myself and broaden readers’ knowledge of real punk rock, our pen travels north of the border to meet Jord Samolesky of Manitoba, Canada.
Jord is a founding member and drummer of the Canadian punk band Propagandhi. Their blend of powerful guitar riffs, thrashing drums and political activism captured my attention early on in my journey into the world outside of radio grunge rock acts like Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
Their debut album, “How to Clean Everything,” hit the streets in 1993 on Fat Wreck Chords, operated by “Fat Mike” Burkett of NOFX Fame. In 30 years since its launch, Propagandhi has cranked out seven studio albums. Their most recent record, “Victory Lap,” was released in 2017 by Epitaph Records.
How It Started
Like most kids in the ‘80s, Jord was a big fan of the arena rock bands that were all the rage in those days. However, early in the decade, his good friend and eventual bandmate Chris Hannah introduced him to underground metal.
“Prior to that, I was like every other kid, into the obligatory hard rock early ‘80s metal scene”Jord said in a March 6 interview. “I went to a few big concerts like Judas Priest. Living in a town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere in the prairies, it was a liberating experience.”
That led Jord to get more into underground punk music, as well.
“I went to my first punk show, and I put arena rock and all the popular stuff on the back burner,” he said. “I was much more interested in this underground scene. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles attached to it. It seemed doable.”
Jord had already started learning drums, and Chris had played guitar a bit, so they decided to give it a go.
The Early Years
Propagandhi started as a local band middling around their small rural town of Portage La Prarie, Manitoba, Canada.
“We were a local band just kinda having fun,” Jord said. “We never thought of it in terms of ‘how long is this going to go on?’ Between ‘86 and ‘91, I don’t know if we thought we’d ever really get to playing a show.”
However, in 1991, the band booked an opening gig for the titans of punk rock, NOFX.
“We opened for them, and (Fat) Mike was starting a label (Fat Wreck Chords), and it seemed like he wanted a token Canadian band on his label, and we happened to fill that slot,” Jord said.
Propagandhi did indeed sign with Fat Wreck Chords.
“Ultimately, that opened the doors up quite a bit,” Jord said. “It was like, OK, I’m leaving my school interests to do this full time. One thing led to the next.”
The band would debut with “How To Clean Everything” and release three more full-length albums in their time with the label. After a few albums, it became clear this was their path.
“Year after year, it went in and out, album to album in three-to-five-year cycles, and at a certain point, it was like, ‘I guess it’s too late to go back to school,’ so let’s try to keep doing this,” he said.
A Band With A Message
Propagandhi’s music isn’t for the faint of heart, and it delivers a powerful social and political message. What started as having fun with friends became a campaign to make the world aware of injustice and inequality.
“Over years of just kinda piecing things together. This world isn’t what we thought,” Jord said. The bands’ stance is laid out in their lyrics and song titles.”
They certainly aren’t shy about it, with song titles like “The Only Good Fascist Is a Very Dead Fascist” and “Resisting Tyrannical Government.”
“Maybe our role is partially expressing our view, but also passing the microphone to people who are legitimately oppressed,” he said.
As punk rock became more mainstream with acts like Green Day and Blink-182, Propagandhi was determined to keep activism alive in the community.
“We wanted to represent our roots, the activist side of things. Keep it hyper-critical. We wanted to keep our participation in the punk world away from the commodification process,” Jordan said.
The band has been known to travel with a bookmobile and partnered with independent bookstores and activist groups to set up information tables at their live shows.
“Over the years, it’s like we’re in this, given this huge opportunity,” he said. “We wanted to represent some of our roots, the activist side of things.”
Propagandhi has been firmly in my ears since I picked up “How To Clean Everything” in 1996, and their message has shaped who I am in a big way. So many bands sell out for the almighty dollar, but this Canadian quartet has stayed the course over the years.
“A lot of stuff seemed like it was becoming streamlined… and when people saw that you could make money from this, everything changed,” Jord said.
This is evident in what punk rock has become today: another money-grabbing endeavor that lost its soul.
Bands like Green Day, Sum 41 and Blink-182 have flipped the idea of punk culture from political and social awareness to teenage hormones and pranks. However, the heart of the movement still exists thanks to bands like Propagandhi.
Jord, Chris and fellow bandmates Todd Kowalski and Sulynn Hugo proudly carry the torch for those who haven’t forgotten that naive teenage desire to see a better world around us and ensure that punk rock will never die.
On To Football
Just as punk rock will never die, so goes our love for fantasy football. Whether it’s in the midst of the season or into the offseason, we stay the course.
And as a dynasty manager, it’s paramount to keep your head in the game through NFL Free Agency, the NFL Draft and offseason team activities. A lot can change between now and September. The more you know, the more likely you are to make good roster decisions and stay on the path to winning.
Without further adieu, let’s get to it in this week’s edition of “Hot, Medium & Mild: Value Dynasty Trade Targets.”
Hot, Medium & Mild: Value Dynasty Trade Targets
Like punk rock, this week we’re coming in hot! Wide receiver and tight end have been two of the tougher positions to grade in fantasy football as of late.
However, I have a bookend who is about to light New Orleans on fire and a wideout due for a big breakout after a disappointing 2022. You’ll want to get both of these value dynasty trade targets on your rosters ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
(All player dynasty Points Per Reception [PPR] rankings courtesy of PlayerProfiler.)
HOT — Infinity Chili Pepper
Juwan Johnson (TE, New Orleans Saints) | TE39
Over the next few days, there will be many moving parts and pieces as we usher in the new league year. However, as part of the legal tampering period that began today, March 13, the New Orleans Saints made sure tight end Juwan Johnson was staying put, inking him to a two-year, $6 million contract. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020, Johnson has quietly become a reliable target in the Saints’ passing game.
Johnson went primarily unused in his first two seasons, seeing 32 targets in those years. However, in 2022, he had a breakout, earning 65 targets. Johnson turned those targets into 42 catches for 508 yards and a team-leading seven receiving touchdowns. He has cemented a role in the New Orleans offense. With the recent signing of free agent quarterback Derek Carr, Johnson should see an even more significant role than he saw last season.
What To Do
It’s no secret that Carr loves getting the ball in the hands of his tight ends. Darren Waller flourished in Las Vegas with Carr under center, having top-five PPR finishes in the two seasons he was fully healthy. He had 117 and 146 targets in those seasons and eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards. So while Johnson will compete for targets with fellow tight end Adam Trautman, he is the front-runner to receive the bulk of the targets at the position.
Of course, there is always a chance Johnson will regress in 2023. However, at his current dynasty value, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better player to take a shot on. You should be able to acquire this value dynasty trade target for a fourth-round or later rookie draft pick.
HOT — Carolina Reaper Pepper
Courtland Sutton (WR, Denver Broncos) | WR52
It’s not a secret the Denver Broncos were an absolute mess in 2022. However, there’s a new sheriff in town with the hiring of veteran head coach Sean Payton, and the changes are already apparent.
Quarterback Russell Wilson has dropped his cheesy antics, and there’s an air of seriousness around the organization that was missing. As a result, the vibes in Broncos Country are hopeful. One of the keys to turning things around from a weak 5-12 effort last year will be getting wide receiver Courtland Sutton to live up to expectations.
There was a ton of hype for Sutton coming into the NFL in 2018. However, he has had just one PPR WR2 finish over his first five seasons in the league, back in 2019. Some of the lack of production can be attributed to him tearing his ACL and missing the 2020 season. However, he is now three years removed from the injury. All eyes are on the veteran to see if he can take off in a new, more favorable offensive system.
What To Do
I’m not one for player comparisons, but there’s an undeniable connection between Sutton and veteran wide receiver Michael Thomas. Thomas, who played under Payton for the first six seasons of his NFL career, is similar in size to Sutton, over six-foot and around 210 pounds. Like Thomas, Sutton uses his size and relative speed to vex defenders.
If he is going to have a breakout season, this is his best opportunity. Thomas was a WR1 in his first four seasons, and the ceiling for Sutton is there under Payton. He is an excellent value dynasty trade target if you need depth at wide receiver for your squads. You won’t need to give up more than a third-round rookie pick or a veteran roster-clogger such as Buffalo Bills wideout Gabriel Davis.
I hope you find my spicy and not-so-spicy value dynasty trade targets useful. Until next time!
It’s been nearly a month since I was lucky enough to give you a cheesy #DadJoke, and I couldn’t be more excited to make the world a little more giggly. Here’s this week’s joke to share with and embarrass your kids!
What’s brown and sticky?
As always, thanks for reading. For more fantasy and life content, find me on Twitter @NatePolvogt.