THE WEEK THAT WAS AND WILL BE

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DREW ED­WARDS 3down­na­tion.com

Happy birth­day to us. This week marks the sec­ond an­niver­sary of 3Down­Na­tion, and it’s been quite the ride. We’ve made re­mark­able progress since our launch and, thanks to pas­sion­ate CFL fans across the coun­try, we have en­joyed some re­mark­able growth.

The site was ini­tially launched as a way to bring to­gether re­porters and blog­gers from across the coun­try in hopes of pro­vid­ing news, con­text and analysis on the en­tire CFL. While the ros­ter of con­trib­u­tors has changed slightly over the last 24 months, much of our orig­i­nal team re­mains in place. We’ve also made a num­ber of key ad­di­tions, most no­tably reporter Justin Dunk who has bro­ken a num­ber of big sto­ries since join­ing us in Fe­bru­ary 2016. We’ve also had valu­able con­tri­bu­tions from for­mer play­ers like Obby Khan, who wrote beau­ti­fully about his ex­pe­ri­ences as a Mus­lim man in Canada, and ex-Ti­cat John Wil­liams on the chal­lenges he faced af­ter re­tire­ment. Last Satur­day, 3Down­Na­tion was hon­oured at the On­tario News­pa­per Awards, win­ning in the On­line Mul­ti­me­dia Spe­cial Project cat­e­gory, and peo­ple said some aw­fully nice things about the site. “If 3Down­Na­tion is a one-stop web­site for ev­ery­thing CFL, it’s be­cause founder and ed­i­tor, Drew Ed­wards, in­cluded jour­nal­ists and knowl­edgable blog­gers from across Canada to pro­vide per­spec­tive on ev­ery team,” judge Tim McKenna wrote. “This in­no­va­tive site in­cludes CFL news, analysis, photos pod­casts and in­sight­ful col­umns deal­ing with CFL is­sues on and off the field.” Win­ning is al­ways great — as any­one as­so­ci­ated with foot­ball can tell you — but McKenna’s com­ments were even more grat­i­fy­ing be­cause it’s what we set out to do. While the page view num­bers and reader re­sponse have given us a good in­di­ca­tion were on the right track — we con­tinue to smash records ev­ery month — get­ting some hard­ware by way of val­i­da­tion feels pretty good, too. Which isn’t to say we don’t have our chal­lenges. The eco­nomics of dig­i­tal pub­lish­ing con­tinue to be a chal­lenge for ev­ery­one in­volved and the land­scape is shift­ing quickly. We’ll need to keep evolv­ing in or­der to con­tinue our suc­cess. *** The Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats re­leased 14 play­ers on Mon­day, in­clud­ing vet­eran Amer­i­can of­fen­sive line­man Jeremy Lewis. The 27-year-old Lewis made 39 starts over three sea­sons with the club, in­clud­ing 14 last year. He suf­fered a knee in­jury in an Au­gust game against the Calgary Stam­ped­ers and missed the last four games of the reg­u­lar sea­son as well as the East semi­fi­nal loss to Ed­mon­ton. The Florida na­tive also missed nine games due to in­jury in 2015. But Lewis’ re­cent Twit­ter ac­tiv­ity in­di­cated he ex­pected to be healthy for train­ing camp.

The team cur­rently has five Amer­i­can tack­les listed on their ros­ter, in­clud­ing veter­ans Xavier Ful­ton and Jake Ol­son, who missed all of last sea­son re­cov­er­ing from a torn patella ten­don in his knee. Three more, Jor­dan Swin­dle, Mal­colm Bunche and To­rian White, at­tended mini-camp last week and are now ex­pected to com­pete at main camp at the end of the month. Also re­leased on Mon­day was Cana­dian de­fen­sive back El­roy Dou­glas, who was a fifth-round pick by the Ticats last May. He ap­peared in four games last sea­son while spend­ing most the year on the prac­tice ros­ter. The cuts were made as teams around the CFL got down to the league-man­dated 75-player ros­ter.

JOHN RENNISON, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Of­fen­sive line­man Jeremy Lewis was re­leased by the Ticats Mon­day.

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