10 Questions with Jimmy Bower of Superjoint

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By Ryan Meehan

(BIO via Earsplit Compound)

On November 12th, Superjoint will release the punishing wares of their new full-length album Caught Up In The Gears Of Application. Captured at Nodferatu’s Lair, the eleven-track offering marks the band’s first new output since 2003’s critically-lauded Lethal Dose Of American Hatred. Produced by Superjoint co-founder Philip H. Anselmo (Down, Pantera, Scour, Arson Anthem etc.) and Stephen Berrigan (Down, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Eyehategod, Haarp, Classhole, etc.) and mastered by Scott Hull (Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Pig Destroyer) at Visceral Sounds, Caught Up In The Gears Of Application remains true to Superjoint original strategy:  To spew forth an acrimonious crossover of hardcore punk, metal, and unrelenting, hostile, New Orleans-style angst. We are thrilled to have head Superjoint skinbasher Jimmy Bower as our guest today in 10 questions.

RM:  How long did it take to complete this album; and which portion of the recording process was the most satisfying for you as a musician?

JB:  It really didn’t take that long…Two of our members live out of town, so knowing that we went into it – not in a rushed kinda mode – but knowing that we couldn’t fuck around…We really had to buckle down and get it done. And the fact that we hadn’t done anything in over eleven years to me made it that much easier. To me, definitely the writing process of the record is really fun. I tend to get nervous once we start recording, because you’re recording one performance on an album and…I tend to overthink things, so it’s like “Well, we could have played it better” or “We could have sounded more ferocious if we’d have done this” and when you’re making a record you can’t really think like that. You know what I mean?

RM:  For sure…This is the first record the band has put out in well over a decade…Was there ever any point over the past 13 years when you doubted whether or not we would see a new Superjoint record? Why or why not?

JB:  Totally, dude. Up until about two or three years ago we weren’t even gonna do the band again. It wasn’t until Corey Mitchell (Rest in Peace) who was the Housecore Festival organizer had the idea and he was like “Dude, what if we had Superjoint play?” So that kinda got the ball rolling…and here we are. But before that there was absolutely no thought of ever doing this band again. So thanks goes to Corey Mitchell.

RM:  In a recent press release, you said “The minute we started writing, I knew this record was going to be brutal”…I was listening to A Lethal Dose of American Hatred at work the other day when I read that quote, so I feel like I have to ask:  How the fuck did you guys go about approaching the idea of taking that brutality to the next level on “Caught Up In The Gears of Application”?

JB:  “Lethal Dose of American Hatred” is actually my least favorite Superjoint record. I like the first one…me and Phil have talked about it a lot. Like “Let’s try and make the new one in the vein of the first record” because the first one was more spontaneous, it was a brand new band…To me on “Lethal Dose” it got a little more technical. And that happens with bands, you know…But we we talked about concentrating more on the first record and trying to get that old hardcore style back. And what I think we came up with was a pretty good mixture of a little of that element – it’s a completely different band, and you can hear it too. It still sounds like Superjoint, but it’s definitely taking a newer direction within the songwriting process.

RM:  How did Phil come up with the name for the LP; and what does the title suggest?

JB:  “Caught up in the Gears of Application” is basically…I take it as being caught up in the bullshit of society. Cell phones, emails, just being caught up in that trap – everybody’s got a damn cell phone in their hand…I’m almost 50 years old so when I grew up there were no cell phones, you had to find other shit to do. I mean, you didn’t have to find shit to do, there was other shit to do. Now everybody’s got their fucking face in a phone all day. It’s just real weird man, it just seems like everybody’s going backwards you know? But Phil came up with the title – he comes up with all of the titles for the songs and everything like that as well. He might give you a give you a completely different interpretation.

RM:  What is the most metal artifact that can found at Nodferatu’s Lair; and what are some of the things which make those rooms such a great place to record?

JB:  Hmmm…I’m trying to think, man. There’s like a bunch of different posters that are really cool. There’s a picture…it’s funny because when I first started playing drums I used to hang out with this dude named Mark. I used to go over to his house and play drums and we’d put our drum kits together – I was like 14 or 15 years old – and it turns out that when Phil moved back to Texas he bought that house. So there’s a big picture in a frame there of me playing drums in the house that he would later buy. Kind of a weird coincidence, now whether that’s the most metal artifact I have no idea. It’s just a really good vibe there as far as being able to…I mean, (Phil’s) house is on 18 acres of land so you go over there and if you want to walk away and just go take a walk in the woods…It’s not like being at a studio in the city or something, it’s actually got a vibe to it and we definitely use that to our advantage. Because a lot of studios are either in the city or around a bunch of other shit and it’s kinda hard to put all that aside. Out there it’s just out in the country, so it’s just really cool.

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RM:  It seems like nowadays with Facebook and other social media sites that some of these metal publications are really fiending for any questionable soundbite or video clips of any big name artist, trying desperately to stir the pot…Does it ever concern you that some of these sites like Blabbermouth are trying to turn the day-to-day exchanges between metal musicians and the media into sort of a TMZ-like tabloid experience? Is there any material on the new album which addresses shit like that which makes most of us die hard metal fans want to fucking pull our hair out?

JB:  Yeah, I think there’s a lot on the album that addresses that. This dude who runs Blabbermouth…I used to talk to him every day on the phone in the nineties. He used to work for Century Media, and he was a fuckin’ gossip hound back then. So it just makes sense that he runs that. I try not to pay any attention to those sites…it’s not like a fuckin’ paper mag, man. I guess they can kinda sit back where they are and kinda be that keyboard warrior without any repercussions. It’s stupid. It’s got nothin’ to do with music, man. It’s weird with all of this social media and everything…everybody talks about music – not too much, because that’s a bad thing to say – but tries to figure it out too much. There should be more concerts, there should be more people going to shows and interacting with other people face to face. That’s how I grew up here:  The scene in New Orleans was really beneficial for somebody that was into music. You’d go to a show and it wasn’t just the show, it was hanging out with everybody, talkin’ to ’em, finding out what bands they were into…because back then there was no internet. So you’d talk like “Dude I heard about this band from Texas you gotta check ’em out!” you know…There was a sense of excitement about it and it just seems like that’s kinda died out. At least for old fucks like us.

RM:  Returning to the record, one of the things that has made Superjoint so memorable in the past is the ability to really shake things up with regards to tempo and dynamics…Obviously as someone who has also played drums quite extensively for some time, you have a great sense of control when it comes to when those changes need to happen…Is that something you really want to bust out as much as possible when writing a song, or do you guys tend to just write based on the overall flow of each individual riff and let the feel of the hook take you to the song’s completion?

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JB:  That’s a great question, man…great question. We call ’em “drops”. Drops to me happen in so many different forms. You can either build up to ’em or you can have ’em abruptly happen or whatever. And of course, if you write songs with those elements in ’em of course you’re gonna be conscious of it to the point where it’s being discussed. It’s without a doubt discussed and taken into massive consideration. That’s a cool question, man.

RM:  What is the biggest difference between playing live shows in this day and age compared to doing so twenty years back? What – if anything – do you miss about doing shows that took place in the early to mid-nineties?

JB:  I guess the only difference for me is the physical aspect of it. I’m older and it’s not as easy to go nuts per se as I could when I was 25 or 26 years old. To me, live shows are still the same. You show up…The only difference is people got fuckin’ cell phones recording everything, takin’ pictures and stuff like that. Which bums me out, but I don’t really do or say anything about it because if that’s the way they wanna have their experience at a concert, so be it. When I was a kid, we just fuckin’ soaked everything up and it was like “Dude, they’re right there. They’re right there and they’re jammin’” and all of the attention was on them. No face in a cell phone or all that. But I think live shows are – as far as playing the shows – pretty much the same. I think they’re very important, man.

RM:  Let’s say that we were doing this interview in person and you felt it wasn’t going well…If you had to smack me over the head with one album that isn’t your new one to knock some metal sense into me, which record would you select and what makes that so release so abrasive that you would feel the need to hit me with it?

JB:  I guess like an old Black Flag or Sabbath record or something. I would never smack anybody over the head, I’d rather just tell you to shut up and let’s jam some tunes or whatever. Old Black Flag dude, you can’t beat that man. The music is just so violent and…That’s kinda what we try and go for with Superjoint is that massively violent car accident sound.

RM:  Where does Down currently sit at the moment? Is that something that those of you who are in the band don’t really feel like you need to address either because the time isn’t right or projects like Superjoint are front and center of your musical output?

JB:  Well you’ve got Pepper, who’s doing Corrosion of Conformity right now. They’re doing a record, and obviously we just did the Superjoint record. Bobby does Honky and Pat is doing this band with Pinkus from Honky called Pure Luck…it’s a country band, and I’ve been workin’ on my solo record. Down is one of those bands that…it is a side project, so sometimes it doesn’t get 100% full attention and that’s what’s happening right now. We have two more EPs to come out in the set of the four, so hopefully starting next year we’re going to get down to starting to write on that because I think a lot of Down fans – and a lot of other people – really dig Down. One thing we learned between NOLA and the second record is the amount of time we took in between records…Being a fan of music myself, it’s not fair to the fans to disconnect yourself from it for that long. So, hopefully soon!

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RM:  If you had to sum up your group of friends within the New Orleans music community in one sentence on less, how would that passage read?

JB:  We’re all sluts for music. It’s true, everybody in New Orleans…There’s like ten people in the scene that all jam with each other.  So it’s like…everybody kinda cheats on their band, but it’s cool. That’s just talkin’ about my friends…constantly starting different projects, jammin’, gettin’ together and stuff like that.

RM:  What’s up next for yourself and the rest of the band in the remainder of 2016 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about? You mentioned your solo album…

JB:  Yeah, I’m working on that at a snail’s pace, man. But I am workin’ on it…The Superjoint record comes out on the eleventh, I’m gonna try to figure out what to get my daughter for Christmas and that’s about it. We’ve got one Superjoint show on the twelfth in Dallas and we start touring in January, so 2017 looks to be a high point for us – getting back out there and getting busy – and hopefully another Eyehategod record, too. And then like I said, hopefully new material with Down and getting another EP released with them as well.

Housecore Records Official Website:  http://www.thehousecorerecords.com/

Superjoint on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Superjoint-7066758901/

Housecore Records on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/housecore_press

Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.

Meehan

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Week Seventeen NFL Preview

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by Eight Thirty Seven with assistance from J-Dub and Jason from Indiana

Well, it’s finally here. This will be the last week of the NFL season for 20 of the thirty-two teams in the league, and nobody could be happier to hear about that than yours truly. I can’t wait until next week…I don’t have to write about the Saints, Lions, Titans, or any other team that doesn’t warrant my attention because in most cases they haven’t earned it.

It’s also the end of the regular season line for the J-Dub Gambling Challenge, and although it’s been a rough year for him in that regard the Dubsism household is thrilled about the Eagles recent firing of Chip Kelly. Let’s see what kind of a mood he’s in after hearing the promising news that shithead won’t be back to ruin another year of Eagles football.

J-Dub:  For the last regular-season installment of this challenge, we’re focusing only on the games that still have meaning. Some of these play-off scenarios have the complexity of nuclear physics, and they have likelihoods somewhere between metaphysical certitude and J-Dub getting elected Pope while getting a “handy” from all fourteen Kardahsians and Hillary Clinton. To reflect that, we’re listing these games in order of a blend of likely outcomes and complexities.

Continue reading

Week Sixteen NFL Preview

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by Eight Thirty Seven with assistance from J-Dub and Jason from Indiana

Obviously there’s an elephant in the room, and that zoo animal is the one game suspension handed down by the NFL to New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham after a helmet to helmet hit on Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman in Sunday afternoon’s game. The helmet-to-helmet hit did warrant the suspension, but what I’m going to talk about for a second is the way the media covered all of the other stuff that was going on between those two before and after the whistle. A lot of people are crying about the lack of sportsmanship associated with these exchanges, and – simply put – those people need to shut the fuck up. Given the Antonio Brown scuffle in the previous week’s Bengals/Steelers game, this is the second week in a row that I’ve had to write about grown men slapping each other with open hands and it better be the last one. This is absolutely ludicrous from every conceivable angle, and keep in mind this is what happened when Goddell began to instruct his referees to flag everybody for everything. If you’re wondering why hockey’s ratings have gone up in recent years, it might have something to do with the fact that in hockey, two guys are able to settle their differences the way two guys used to be able to do that. I just think all of this is so weak, and not trying to defend Beckham’s headbutt, but since when is any team allowed to carry bats onto the field? I about jumped out of my shoes when I heard that shit, and you almost wonder how that was allowed to even go on in an NFL stadium. Any yahoo could have jumped onto the field, grabbed one of those bats, and no matter how small he was he would instantly become the most dangerous person on a sideline where nobody is wearing helmets. I’m just baffled by this story on so many levels.

Unfortunately I don’t have any time to continue this rant, because I have to head to the pawn shop and sell some of my guitars. Then I’m headed to Western Union in order to wire some money to Dubs, who has had quite a rough year to say the very least.

J-Dub:  It’s another week of limping toward the finish line for what has been a truly garbage NFL season, and that has nothing to do with winning and losing at the gambling challenge.  Seriously, this is a league where you can have a contender based on a future Hall of Fame quarterback, 6 other guys who don’t suck, and 46 guys who should be loading trucks at UPS. You have a league where the referees can’t figure out the fucking rules, and even if they did, they blow more calls than a Wal-Mart flip phone. And if that weren’t enough, now you have Will Smith making an anti-football movie featuring him doing dialog as Kamala, the Ugandan Giant.

Having said all that, I’m no quitter, so even though this league is now more painful to watch than drinking a gallon of gasoline and firing a flare gun up my own ass, I’ll keep burning my cash on it. Continue reading

Week Fifteen NFL Preview

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by Eight Thirty Seven with assistance from J-Dub and Jason from Indiana

Here we are three weeks from the end of another NFL season, and yet again we find ourselves in a situation where a team with a sub .500 record is atop their division. Actually that’s not true, but hold on a second…it’s even worse than that. The AFC South has two teams tied for the division lead that are each under .500, and the NFC East has three teams tied for first place that are also under .500. The argument could be made that not one of those four teams are going to provide playoff caliber entertainment. I hate to sound like a broken record, but isn’t the fact that this keeps coming up sort of more proof that it needs to be rectified? This shit again? Twice? I don’t need to see any more out of the Colts or the Redskins in order for me to know why I shouldn’t need to see more than the Colts and the Redskins. This is crazy, and there are better teams who will end up getting left out of the postseason for another year until the competition committee, the league and the players association can find a way to get their fucking ducks in a row. When it happens in one division, that’s one thing but in two? One in each conference? This is out of hand. Speaking of out of hand, let’s see where J-Dub is at with his “Might as well just burn the money” gambling challenge…

J-Dub:  The theme for the J-Dub Gambling Challenge could easily be “Breaking Even”  That doesn’t sound bad, until you realize there’s no way you can make money that way.  Imagine the Titanic just remaining half-sunk; you’re not going to die, but your pants are always wet. Having said that, let’s see how I can wet my pants this week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) +1.5 at St. Louis Rams (5-8)  (41)

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The Buccaneers dropped a tough one to New Orleans this past Sunday, and the Rams pulled off a very uneventful win against the Lions at home. When this season started I was convinced that by now we’d be seeing a potential Lovie Smith firing, when in reality it’s become Jeff Fisher who might have the eject button pulled on his go kart before the year is over. Tampa is the better team right now, but St. Louis should still be on the tear they were back in late September and October and this one shouldn’t even be close. I have to think the Bucs want to not only inject themselves back into the very confusing NFC playoff situation we just discussed, but also prove that they will finish better than the Falcons and the Saints. The thing about living in the gutter is that no matter how comfortable your surroundings become, you can always see a house in the distance that you wouldn’t mind living in. The guys down in Tampa who have really worked their asses off to get back above .500 know they missed a perfect chance to go into this very winnable game at 7-6, which would have meant that they’d guarantee a .500 season if they won both games. But that didn’t happen, and I’d have to think that makes them very angry. Although the Lions are coming off of a victory and the Bucs are coming off of a loss, I like Tampa to take this and get back to .500 because you know Winston wants that ROY award. For some reason my brain is drawn to the under here as well.

837’s Prediction:  Buccaneers 23, Rams 13

J-Dub:  $100 on Tampa Bay

Jason from Indiana:  St. Louis

New York Jets (8-5) -3 at Dallas Cowboys (4-9)  (42)  

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I’m torn here…The Cowboys looked atrocious last week losing to Green Bay team that still has a lot more problems than their record would suggest, but I really don’t want to watch the Jets in the playoffs. It would be so relieving if the Cowboys could wake up and start to get some kind of something going offensively, but the odds of that happening are about equal to Jerry Jones being able to pass a field sobriety test halfway through the third quarter of this one. The Jets’ offense looked pretty damn good in a win over Tennessee on Sunday, but the Titans can’t tackle a tumbleweed and I’d rather get a blood transfusion from Charlie Sheen than watch any more Jets football. Fitzpatrick has done a pretty decent job of keeping things moving this year when Brandon Marshall is open, but if you look at the numbers it’s not like he’s going to be winning AFC Offensive player of the week anytime soon. The Jets are just straight up boring, period. Their resume is shit, and includes wins over the Redskins, Jaguars, and the Dolphins. They’ve also lost to the Raiders, Bills, Texans, and should have lost to the Giants had Tom Coughlin not handed them the game. It’s going to be hard to want to see more of that football, and if they do get in I hope whoever plays them in the first round cleans their clock so we’re done with them for the year. But at three points with the way Dallas has “played” lately they are a lock to cover for certain. The possibility that the Cowboys could come out and lay a huge egg is very real, so don’t touch the point total here even though the under is quite tempting.

837’s Prediction:  Jets 24, Cowboys 11

J-Dub:  $50 on NY Jets

Jason from Indiana:  New York Jets

Buffalo Bills (6-7) EVEN at Washington Redskins (6-7)  (44)  

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Bills fans have to be seriously hating on the fans of the opposition this week, as they find themselves in third place against a team that will likely win their division with the same record. The Redskins are at the moment playing better than anyone else in the NFC Least at the moment, and the Bills aren’t living up to the hype created week-to-week by their loudmouth jackass of a head coach. Suffice to say, this is hardly must-see-TV and if anything you might be able to get a hold of a sportsbook to give you a prop bet so you can take the over on fumbles. I’m not going to get too much into this one, but I know that while Buffalo would have to have a lot of things swing their way to get in Washington controls their own for the most part so they will play as inspired football as a Kirk Cousins-led team can play and I believe they take this one. Total is spot on.

837’s Prediction:  Redskins 24, Bills 20

J-Dub:  $50 on Washington   

Jason from Indiana:  Washington

Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) -8.5 at Baltimore Ravens (4-9)  (42) 

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Perhaps the biggest shocker out of all the injuries that have happened over the past month had to have come when Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls broke his ankle on Sunday at the hands of one Chris Canty. Chris Canty? Really? I thought that guy’s career was over when the Giants cut him three years ago. But such is the case with what has become of the Ravens defense in 2015. Here’s a fun stat:  The Ravens have given up sixty points this year to the Browns alone. Ouch. They will likely continue to struggling against the surging Chiefs, who are looking every bit like the playoff team I so desperately hope they’ll end up becoming. Once again here, the game manager thing comes up, but I think even on the road this one shouldn’t be much of a challenge for them. They have to win every game from here on out to secure a decent seed, but if they can take this one and then knock out a joke of a Browns team two days after Christmas, they will have went from a team that started horribly to having a ten win season. We give a lot of coaches shit on this site for being mediocre, and it’s no secret Andy Reid’s career has seen its share of that. But he is to be commended for turning around what looked like an abortion clinic fire week five into one of the more solid teams in the NFL to watch. Baltimore has brought nothing to the table and have given up on Harbaugh completely, and although I don’t think he’ll lose his job on Black Monday if they haven’t turned it around by week five of next year he’ll be next year’s Joe Philbin. I would actually say avoid betting on this one, but if you can’t stop once you pop go ahead and take Kansas City to cover and I like – but don’t love – the under.

837’s Prediction:  Chiefs 22, Ravens 12

J-Dub:  Disaster of the Week

Jason from Indiana:  Kansas City

Carolina Panthers (13-0) -5.5 at New York Giants (6-7)   (48)  

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The Carolina Panthers absolutely destroyed the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, but that might be an indicator of how bad the Falcons are more than how good Carolina truly is. But “How good IS Carolina?” is a fair question, one that is likely to be answered in the weeks to come. At 13-0, they have become the poster children for how to build a complete football team. With Cam Newton getting a ton of attention and everyone everywhere talking MVP, the discussion about how well of a job Ron Rivera has done seems to have gotten buried and that’s a shame. He’s taken a team that went into the playoffs with a losing record and still won a game and turned them into the only NFL team that is keeping the 1972 Dolphins’ champagne on ice for the time being. Then there’s the Giants. Boy, where to start? They could be 10-3 now, and came very close to almost letting Miami creep back into that Monday night game. They’ve blown so many fourth quarter leads it’s not even funny, and I really can’t say with some of the mistakes they’ve made that they really stand a chance here. Carolina is dangerous as hell when it comes to exploiting the shit those mistakes, so 5.5 points seems like it would be a solid cover. Believe it or not I like the over here because Eli had the most efficient game of his career on Monday night, and although it may be too late he’s at least going to put points on the board. But the Giants defense definitely ain’t gonna show up, and a lot of kids in New Jersey could get free footballs on Sunday.

837’s Prediction:  Panthers 33, Giants 21

J-Dub:  $50 on Carolina

Jason from Indiana:  New York for the straight up upset (SHOT CALLER!)

Chicago Bears (5-8) +5.5 at Minnesota Vikings (8-5)  (43)  

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The Bears blew a chance to tie the Redskins last week when kicker Robbie Gould very uncharacteristically missed a field goal at games end, propelling Washington to the top of the NFC East and further digging themselves a hole that is now too deep to get out of. The Vikings are looking to rebound from a tough Thursday night loss at Arizona, one which saw them lose their third of four…the lone win against a Falcons team that they could have probably beat in their sleep. Minnesota is kind of playing at the opposite pace of what they did last year:  They started out very weak last year and really began to pick up steam towards the end, and this year they started out crazy good only to struggle down the stretch. Since they don’t have a whole lot of recent playoff experience, I can’t trust them as a legit contender that can win a postseason game unless this is a blowout of epic proportions. Even if they win, there’s no reason why the Vikings shouldn’t steamroll the Bears at home so that they only have to win one of their last two to finish with ten wins.  The line seems low to me, and the way Vegas is treating the Vikings maybe they know something we either don’t know or have been suspecting but just haven’t had the balls to put in print. I like the under here, the Bears took forever to get their offense going last week. Look for Chicago to score a meaningless touchdown late in this one.

837’s Prediction:  Vikings 26, Bears 14

J-Dub:  $50 on Chicago

Jason from Indiana:  Minnesota

Houston Texans (6-7) OFF at Indianapolis Colts (6-7)  (N/A)  

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Last week everyone in the AFC South lost except for Jacksonville. That loss came at the hands of Indianapolis, who lost to the Jags by 35 points. As previously discussed, one of these two teams is going to end up winning the AFC South and if I wanted one to make it obviously I’d select Houston. That said  it’s hard for me to justify either of these teams making the postseason at all, because although I hate the Colts with the burning fire of a thousand crematories the Texans don’t really deserve to be there either. In that surge where they were winning all of those games, while JJ Watt was still playing well and getting all of the press it was their secondary that was winning the sideline battles and keeping Houston afloat. That secondary got eaten alive by a banged up Gronk and a slew of second-stringers on Sunday Night Football, and now even I want to turn my back on them with this being a home game for Indy. But I just can’t do it…the Colts are such a joke and there’s no way the Texans blow this one even if Ryan Leaf throws on pads and has to get back there. I couldn’t imagine a less interesting game to gamble on with the holidays approaching, but I guess if I had pick a team to I like Houston here. Whatever the under it, grab that shit and run like hell.

837’s Prediction:  Texans 19, Colts 17

J-Dub:  Dog of the Week

Jason from Indiana:  Houston

Atlanta Falcons (6-7) +3 at Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8)  (49)  

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Putting up zero points in any professional sport other than soccer is fucking humiliating. It has to be one of the worst feelings an athlete can experience, and 53 guys wearing Falcons uniforms made just that happen against Carolina last week like the mob had suitcases full of money waiting for them in the visitor’s locker room. When the other team is taking Facebook pictures at the two-minute warning, it’s safe to say they don’t consider you to be worthy opponents. Speaking of taking out overachieving team, the Jags put Matt Hasselback on the grass all day in their stomping of Indianapolis but for them they are just about out of it if they can’t win this game. I’d love to see them do it. Fuck it, you know what? The season is almost over I’m taking the Jaguars here. The Falcons haven’t brought anything to the table and although they are still in the playoff hunt they shouldn’t be. I like the Jaguars to put Atlanta back in their place – at the middle or bottom of the NFC South where they belong. Let’s see them extend this losing streak and have double digit losses. I’m bailing on all things Matt Ryan from this point forward. Jaguars cover, I laugh uncontrollably, and collect on the over.

837’s Prediction:  Jaguars 43, Falcons 20

J-Dub:  Trap Game of the Week

Jason from Indiana:  Jacksonville

Tennessee Titans (3-10) +15.5 at New England Patriots (11-2)  (47)  

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The Patriots got some fantastic news on Monday when they were told that X-rays on Jonathan Freeny’s hand came back negative and was upgraded to questionable for this game. And since we all know in Belichick’s mind that means they will for sure be playing, I’m certain he’ll be hitting the field even though they probably don’t need him to be. After two straight one possession losses, New England came out and smacked the red right off of those awful Texans jerseys on Sunday Night Football and proved they just hit a rough patch. A home game against Tennessee should be just what the doctor ordered for the Patriots, and you know Belichick has plenty of defensive looks for rookies like Marcus. Mariota has looked good at times, but he hasn’t been able to translate what he’s been doing to wins. New England covers easily, and yes I’m on that horse again. Part of me wants to think they won’t but they will as Gronk is back and for real indeed. Like the over, but don’t love it.

837’s Prediction:  Patriots 37, Titans 17

J-Dub:  $25 on Tennessee

Jason from Indiana:  New England

Cleveland Browns (3-10) +16 at Seattle Seahawks (8-5)   (43) 

11

I can’t believe I’m typing this sentence, but the Seahawks have scored 173 points in their last five games. They’ve seemed to figure out the perfect balance of managing the running game and still pulling explosive plays out of their asses, and they’ve found a real gem in Tyler Lockett who in my opinion should win Rookie of the Year even though I doubt he will. They’ll get a chance to inflate those numbers even more, as they host a bad Browns team that seems to be experimenting with their play calling in the same manner that bad seventies musicians experimented with LSD. Johnny Soccerball won a decision against the 49ers at home on Sunday, but I’m not giving anybody credit for wins against San Francisco in their own building this year. The upside of this for Cleveland is that if they are seriously evaluating Manzeil to see if he’s of NFL caliber in the long-term, at least they’ll get to see how he responds to a defense that is hell bent on destruction from every conceivable angle. I have a feeling the level of trash talking that is going to come from two teams who couldn’t have any less to do with each other is going to be severely elevated just based on ego alone, as you know there will be no shortage of that here. But even after I said all that, sixteen is a huge spread to feel good about so I’m taking the points. Avoid the total altogether.

837’s Prediction:  Seahawks 28, Browns 17

J-Dub:   $100 on the Over

Jason from Indiana:  Seattle

Green Bay Packers (9-4) -3 at Oakland Raiders (6-7)  (46.5)  

12

Even after they tarred and feathered the Cowboys on Sunday, you get the feeling that the Packers are just not all there. They should have been able to rack up at least 42 against Dallas, and while they will ultimately be judged on what they do in the playoffs like a New England – because of the caliber QB both those teams have – they don’t have the kind of regular season prowess that the Patriots typically do. Case in point – if for some reason Green Bay ends up facing the Arizona Cardinals or the Carolina Panthers on the road the weekend of the divisional playoffs, they are going to get absolutely fucking crushed and everybody reading this knows I’m right. So having to play a team like the Raiders on the road could easily be a trap situation for sure. Oakland is coming off of a win against Denver where their defense played some amazing football in the red zone, but their offense really struggled to put it together when it counted. Had the Broncos not played so poorly they’d likely have lost that game, but they made it happen somehow. If they can make it work they’ll be .500, but for some reason I just don’t have the balls to say they do. Three shouldn’t be that challenging so Green Bay covers and take the under here for sure.

837’s Prediction:  Packers 25, Raiders 16

J-Dub:  $100 on Oakland

Jason from Indiana:  Oakland

Denver Broncos (10-3) +7 at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5)   (44.5) 

13

The Broncos losing to the Raiders would have easily been the funniest part of this matchup in any other week, but if you saw any of the squabbling that went on at the beginning of the PIT/CIN game last week you’ll know that there was some “fighting” going on but it looked so weak on television. Antonio Brown is one of the best receivers in the game, but I can’t help but wonder why he felt the need to throw an open handed “punch” during the first quarter of that game. Grown men don’t slap each other. I get that it would have been a poor decision on his part to get ejected from what was a very important divisional game against a tough first place rival, but I think our collective respect for the guy dropped a little after seeing his sissyboy antics. At least last year when he kicked Browns punter Spencer Lanning in his dome he did it with force, and most importantly he didn’t look like a pussy in front of the whole country. Speaking of getting kicked in the head, Brock Osweiler got his mangina punched in at home against the Raiders last week in a game where Oakland’s leading rusher had 27 yards on 12 carries and their quarterback was an anorexic 12 for 29 for 135. Hoo boy, am I glad I didn’t watch that one. The Broncos are going to have a really rough time heading forward, they are essentially in just as bad shape as Cincinnati is with their current QB situation, and unless their plan is to win it all in with a dominating defense like the 2000 Ravens did it looks like another early out for them. Pittsburgh has a slight advantage at home, but I’m taking the points here because I don’t feel that confident that the Steelers are dominant enough to cover. It will be close, and if you’re feeling fruity take the over.

837’s Prediction:  Steelers 27, Broncos 22

J-Dub:  $200 on Denver, $200 on the Over

Jason from Indiana:  Pittsburgh 

Miami Dolphins (5-8) +1 at San Diego Chargers (3-10)  (45)   

14

The Chargers continue their world tour of incompetence by doing a homecoming show at Qualcomm where the Dolphins come to town this Sunday afternoon. I heard Chris Berman spewing some bullshit on The Blitz Monday morning about how “You have to respect Philip Rivers for staying competitive when a lot of these game don’t matter…” Yeah, here’s the thing about that…No. I don’t have to respect a guy who’s on a 3-10 team that has dropped six in a row and whose only home wins have come against the Browns and the Lions. Rivers pulled one over on all of us for years, and there’s no way I’m going to let that continue. The Dolphins somehow couldn’t get the Giants to blow their fourth quarter lead in the Gruden Game, which is unfathomable to even comprehend. But San Diego is just plain awful, and these two teams play in roughly the same climate so I’m taking Miami and the under because there won’t be a ton of offense in this one. Leave the Ambien in your medicine cabinet, you won’t need it.

837’s Prediction:  Dolphins 10, Chargers 6

J-Dub:  $50 on Miami

Jason from Indiana:  San Diego

Cincinnati Bengals (10-3) -4.5 at San Francisco 49ers (4-9)  (40.5) 

15

I have a confession to make: I probably watch the last drive of Super Bowl XXIII late at night more than the end of any other football game. It’s just a magical and masterful piece of NFL history, but this game probably won’t be nearly as eventful or produce the same result. The Bengals lost Andy Dalton in the Pittsburgh game, so the reigns will be turned over to one AJ McCarron…a guy whose girlfriend makes more headlines than he does. He made a couple of nice throws in that game, but I have more faith that the lead singer of Staind has a great relationship with his parents than I do in AJ McCarron winning important games for the Bengals. He’ll win this one, but with Denver next and the playoffs coming there might not be a guy over the past ten years who’ll be thrown to the wolves more intensely than this cat. The 49ers are so far beyond bad it’s not even funny, and I’m out of jokes to tell about that team. Kaepernick isn’t funny, Gabbert isn’t funny, and aside from that one monster fart that Jim Tomsula ripped at that press conference back in October he isn’t funny either. The Bengals win but don’t cover so take the points and avoid the total because we really don’t know what an AJ McCarron start looks like just yet.

837’s Prediction:  Bengals 17, 49ers 14

J-Dub:  $50 on Cincinnati

Jason from Indiana:  San Francisco

Arizona Cardinals (11-2) -3.5 at Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)   (50.5)

10

Philadelphia has won their last two games, but they are in for a real surprise if they think Arizona is going to be a cakewalk. Although they didn’t do it in convincing fashion, the Cardinals were able to sneak out of the Minnesota game with a win and they’ve now taken seven games in a row. That’s pretty brutal, especially when you consider they played the Bengals and the Seahawks in that stretch. The Eagles took out the Bills Sunday, but are still probably a little bit hungover from their win against the Patriots in Foxboro the week before. I am still very suspect of the Eagles’ abilities…They are really just a couple of poorly thrown balls away from getting stomped in the same fashion they did in the two weeks previous to the New England game. In case you forgot about it (and I’m sure most Eagles fans have given their drinking habits) they lost each of those games by an average of twenty nine and a half points to the Bucs and the Lions. This one probably won’t be nearly as much of a blowout as I want it to be, but they will cover and Philly will go back to being the same Eagles team they were when they couldn’t do anything right. 50.5 seems reasonable, but I am looking for this to be a shootout on both ends.

837’s Prediction:  Cardinals 33, Eagles 24

J-Dub:  Lock of the week – $300 on Arizona

Jason from Indiana:  Arizona

Detroit Lions (4-9) +3 at New Orleans Saints (5-8)   (50.5)  

16

Both the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints did not live up to expectations this year, and both could likely lose their head coaches at season’s end. Regardless of what happens in this game, those decisions have probably already been made and nothing short of a miracle is going to change the fate of Caldwell or Payton. But if they’re gone, I can’t really fault either franchise for making a change. The Lions almost won the NFC North last year, and some would argue they should have won the Wild Card game against Dallas that was marred by horrid officiating. It probably doesn’t help Payton a whole lot that Drew Brees is still putting up impressive numbers towards the end of his career while nobody else in that locker room is listening to a goddamn word either one of them are saying, but they are now six years removed from that Super Bowl win and I bet Tom Coughlin would say “tough shit” to Payton after they both likely meet the same fate that cold January Monday morning in 2016. Looking ahead to next year it probably wouldn’t hurt for the Saints to bolster their offensive line and running game as Brees gets into the later stages of his career, and the Lions are going to have to give Stafford more pieces to work with as well as beef up their defensive line to the strength it was when both Suh and Cliff Avril were on that side of the football a few years back. But seriously, fuck this game. Take the over and don’t get near the spread.

837’s Prediction:  Saints 34, Lions 31

J-Dub:  $25 on the Over

Jason from Indiana:  New Orleans

Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.

Eight Thirty Seven

Week Fourteen NFL Preview

Above: Soon-to-be-former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano

Above: Soon-to-be-former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano

by Eight Thirty Seven with assistance from J-Dub and Jason from Indiana

In week thirteen there were a lot of head scratchers in the NFL. The Pats lost their second straight game to…the Eagles? Minnesota’s defense gave up 38 points to…the Seahawks? If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the time we’ve been doing this, it’s that some weeks there’s no science to it. Sometimes teams be fuckin’ up, sure as women be shoppin’ and tire fires be burnin’. One guy who is no stranger to many different kinds of burns is J-Dubs, whose gambling challenge nears its end with just a month left in the season….

J-Dub:  Well, the “getting healthy” trend continues, if by only a slight margin. The dirty little secret about gambling on the NFL is that the season is really broken into three parts. The first is when you should be able to make some money, because team are largely healthy and pretty much do what you expect them to. 

Then comes the middle of the season, where injuries take their toll, and that becomes one of several reasons why teams will unpredictably change what they are (remember when the Jets were 4-1 and a “playoff lock?”)

Finally, there’s the phase we are in currently; a period in which some stability returns, so long as your realize who are teams who still have something left for which to play. That’s not as easy as it seems.  For example, the Cowboys should be just so much road meat by now, but they are in a division so shitty they are only a game away from the playoffs. I gave Detroit up for dead, and they win three straight. Then, there’s a Vikings’ team n Vikings team which looked to be a legitimate contender, only to realize alas…they are the Vikings.
So, let’s make some bets…
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