A Rant About 3DownNation

The article I’ll reference in this post can be found here (although I hesitate to even give it a platform): 2024 CFL free agent rankings: specialists - 3DownNation

JC Abbot, if you’re reading this: What a mess of an article.

For starters, listing Lirim Hajrullahu as the #1 Free Agent for Kickers and Punters is not only questionable but borders on absurd. Not only has he publicly stated he does not want to play in the CFL, but he also lacks the standout skills that would justify any team “breaking the bank” for him. Did you even watch him play in the USFL? He participated in 5 games and averaged only 40 yards per punt. Further, his directional punting was only O.K., aligning with the league average of 38% of his punts landing inside the 20-yard line. He also struggled on kickoffs, where he managed to kick the ball out of bounds twice, giving his opponents the ball at the 50-yard line.

Placing him above Boris Bede, who is coming off one of the best 3-phase kicking seasons witnessed in the CFL, is a slap in the face. Bede made an impressive 95% of his field goals over 40 attempts, averaged 48 yards per punt (tied for first in the CFL), and continued to dominate kickoffs, averaging 71 yards per kick.

Additionally, ranking him higher than Sergio Castillo seems ridiculous, as Castillo’s excellence is widely recognized and he is especially beloved by the Winnipeg fans. One could even argue that Marc Liegghio should be a higher-priority Free Agent, given his ability to handle all three kicking roles and his significantly younger age than Lirim.

Credit is due for including Matt Mengel as a Free Agent, but I would have at least added some statistics to back it up.

Moving on to Long Snappers, the inclusion of only one long snapper on the Free Agent list is an insult to this crucial and often overlooked position. It’s disheartening to see the absence of Maxime Latour, who started for Toronto in 2022 and played for Calgary in 2023 when Aaron Crawford was injured. Additionally, the 25-year-old Keegan Markgraf, who was vying for a starting spot in Ottawa before the 2023 season, deserved mention.

In conclusion, the quality of this article falls far below the standards one would expect from a leading CFL media outlet. More research would have been welcomed, especially since 3DN is the leader of the CFL’s major media outlets. The players in these positions deserve a more accurate and thoughtful assessment of their skills and contributions. In my opinion, influential platforms must uphold a higher standard of analysis and this article falls short in that regard.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk

9 Likes

I’ve received a reply from the man himself:

This statement is completely false btw. Bede has averaged 0.5 yards more than Lirim and has over 140 more punts logged than him too.

Haters gonna hate.

3 Likes

I’ve always thought of Lirim as more of a field goal guy than a punter. I think he had the nickname Hallalujah, maybe that started after he made some field goal early in his career. But as an Argo fan I still get nervous when Boris is field goal kicking with the game on the line. Nothing to wrong with his punting over the years. But with Haggerty punting and Lirim doing the place kicking I would be ok with that.

2 Likes

I fully appreciate what 3DownNation provides to us CFL fans,
It is by far the best source of CFL stories and information and has been for a long time now ever since TiCats beat writer Drew Edwards founded it in 2015!
Most are well written and accurate and greatly appreciated by this CFL fan

7 Likes

It’s a crap site. Mostly clickbait and rumormongering. I don’t bother with it anymore.

3 Likes

I think if 3DN tried harder they could squeeze a couple more ads on their homepage… I can still make out a few of the stories they’ve posted.

5 Likes

Considering it is free,
I put up with the ads and generally ignore them

3 Likes

With all due respect, a lot of websites are free, and you can read them without first having to close multiple pop-up ads…

3 Likes

I’ve got this thing called an Ad blocker , you should try it . It works great because the site never looks like that when I click on it .

5 Likes

There’s a built-in ad-blocker in the Google Chrome browser I use. 3DN is the only site I visit where this occurs. It took about 30 seconds for those 3 pop-up ads to load.

3 Likes

Then it’s not a very good ad blocker.

There are better browsers out there that block almost everything and the pages load in a second or two.

5 Likes

Again this only happens on their site – 1 out of 20 sites I might visit throughout the day. It’s just a minor pain in the ass, and nothing worth changing browsers for.
For the record 3DN is usually the first site I visit with my morning coffee. I realise writers don’t work for free, and the site needs to generate revenue, I just think there’s less intrusive/annoying means of advertising. For example, affixing ads to one side of the webpage. It’s a win-win for all concerned: the advertiser’s ads are blocked, the website generates revenue, and nothing obstructs the reader’s view… Simple/stupid right?

Edited to add: Apologies @BetweenTheGoalposts. Wasn’t my intention to hijack your well-founded rant.

3 Likes

I enjoy this community because of the discussions we can have here. No apologies necessary :handshake:

4 Likes

I don’t have time to cruise the internet so I only see the 3DownNation articles that are listed on this site and can’t comment on that platform overall.

As to the ranking of kickers, I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. In my view Castillo is the premier pressure place kicker in the league and Bede is the best overall kicker with easily the strongest leg. If he duplicates his FG accuracy of last year he clearly should be the #1 ranked free agent kicker, but again, the ratio rules can have an influence.

As to Lirim, I wouldn’t sign him if he offered to play for free. It doesn’t sound like he’s interested in returning to Canada anyway. I am aware that some Ticat fans thought highly of him and recognize that he’s probably better than he was earlier in his career in Winnipeg, but the stench of his time here is too much for me to overcome. As a season ticket holder at the time I saw pretty much every one of his kicks at home live. He is a terrible punter with minimal leg strength and “hang time” to him means getting together with friends. His placekicking in his last year here caused a not great Bomber team for sure 4 wins they badly could have used and possibly as many as 7. Worse than Liegghio territory. Not a fan of Mark either but I would actually take him over Lirim any day. Easily the worst kicker to play for the Bombers in a long time in my opinion.

5 Likes

You do not need to change browsers. What you need is to do is install an extension that will reduce the number of those annoyances.

Try uBlock Origin.

3 Likes

Jon, your analysis is SPOT. ON.

Who wants a guy like Lirim to play on their team? He has publicly stated multiple times he doesn’t want to play in the CFL. If it’s a money thing, draft a rookie out of the USPORTs stream.

4 Likes

Toronto just signed him

3 Likes

I was just coming here to say this.

I hope I’m entirely wrong about him but WOW! I am not happy with this signing.

It better be for league minimum and he better not be garunteed a starting spot.

2 Likes

“It better be for league minimum” - It won’t be
“he better not be garunteed a starting spot.” - He will be

5 Likes

Not a fan tbh

3 Likes