Celebrating five years of 3DownNation

3DownNation launched exactly five years ago today. It’s a date that I remember because it was May 4, also known as Star Wars Day.

The launch date is May 4,” wrote site creator Drew Edwards in an early internal email. “It’s a Monday, so that makes sense. It’s also May the Fourth, a traditional Star Wars geek holiday. As someone who, at this very moment, is wearing a Star Wars t-shirt, I’m taking this as a good omen.”

We started as a ragtag group of fan bloggers producing content at our leisure. There were few rules, little editorial oversight, and lots of typos (though we still have those sometimes).

Over the past half-decade we have grown into a premier source of CFL news, insight and analysis. Through hard work, dedication and luck — possibly generated by Edwards’ t-shirt — we have become something more than I ever dreamed we would be.

On behalf of Justin Dunk and myself, I want to thank all of our contributors — past and present — along with our amazing readers for helping us become the entity we are today. We thank you for your support and for holding us accountable. Our website isn’t perfect, but we are dedicated to learning and improving on it each and every day.

Given that today is a milestone, we thought it would be fun to look back at the ten most popular articles in the history of our site (isn’t this what television programs do when they’re out of ideas — have a clip-show?).

Enjoy. We look forward to seeing what the next five years have in store.

10) Johnny Manziel skipped meetings required by the CFL: sources by Justin Dunk

Manziel makes the first of three appearances on the list. For those who have grown tired of Johnny Football, rest assured that we’re done writing about him (unless there’s no 2020 season, of course, in which case all bets are off).

9) Incident at practice could lead to Duron Carter suspension by Justin Dunk

Duron Carter is one of the league’s more gregarious and enigmatic characters, so his exploits in Rider Nation were bound to demand attention.

8) Idiot on the field gets destroyed by B.C. Lions player by 3Down Staff

This article isn’t one we’d submit for any journalistic awards, but there’s a reason this clip went viral around the world.

7) TSN finally launches live streaming service, means you can watch the CFL without cable by Drew Edwards

Cable-cutters rejoice! The CFL becomes stream-able.

6) CFL free agency: LIVE by 3Down Staff

Free agency is one of the biggest events on the CFL calendar, which always generates a ton of fan interest.

5) Johnny Manziel’s Ticats contract details by 3Down Staff

People love reading about how much money other people make — especially when that person is Johnny Manziel.

4) What might Johnny Manziel get paid in the CFL by Justin Dunk

This is the last Manziel piece on the list. Forgive us.

3) Raising the league’s minimum salary key to CFL’s upcoming CBA negotiations by John Hodge

It’s clear that the CFL and CFLPA agreed on this premise, raising the minimum salary to an all-time high of $65,000 last off-season.

2) What the top free agents got paid by Justin Dunk

Show me the money!

1) A CFL player speaks out: the league is taking advantage of us by Anonymous

That’s right — our most-read article of all-time was written by a player who wished to remain anonymous. As someone who’s dedicated five years to this website, that’s… pretty humbling.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.