No dome to play in
Only one team, the British Columbia Lions, plays indoors. Lirim Hajrullahu has never played for the Lions in his six-year career with the CFL. Somehow, he seems to thrive in the cold, the wet, the blustery. It’s not that it doesn’t affect him. It does. But it affects the opponent more. That’s an advantage to whichever team he plays for.
Hajrullahu doesn’t concern himself with trivial matters like the weather. His life has led him to focus on more important things. He hasn’t even been bothered with the nomad life which is common among CFL players. Contracts run short-term. Despite being one of the most accurate, and famous, kickers from the CFL, Hajrullahu has played no more than two seasons for any one team. It has never shaken him. He is grounded.
Refugee to CFL roster
Lirim Hajrullahu is more grounded than any of us will ever understand. Over 20 years ago, his family fled the war-torn country of Kosovo. The family needed to escape from the daily devastation that was the norm. So father Nijazi, mother Tevide and sisters Lume and Linda, found themselves fleeing from war, hoping to arrive anywhere that war had not yet claimed. He became a refugee when he was eight years old and he has never looked back.
"“A lot of times, people will say ‘are you nervous when you’re playing in front of all those people?’ No, I can’t be nervous. I’ve had guns and tanks pointed at me’ – Lirim Hajrullahu via interview with Melissa Martin of the Winnipeg Free Press"
He started playing football in grade 10 at Governor Simcoe Secondary School in St. Catharines, Ontario. From there, he was hooked. He played for the University of Western Mustangs, where he was their all-time scoring leader. He joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as their punter and kicker in 2014. In 2016, he moved on to the Toronto Argos. Once more, in 2018 he signed on to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Each time, two years. Each new team, more pressure. He was the punter. He kicked off. He kicked field goals. He handled the pressure.