Tuesday, 31 October 2017

#PowerRankings W9

#BetweenTheSheets: Week 9 Power Rankings
Who's peaking?  Are you peaking?  What is peaking?

It's close to midnight
Something evil's lurking from the dark
Under the moonlight
You see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream
But terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze
As horror looks you right between your eyes
You're paralyzed
                                          -  Michael Jackson's Thriller

Of course you are all familiar with the opening lines of Michael Jackson's iconic Halloween-themed song Thriller.  And if you aren't, WWWHHHHAAAA?  Is that even possible?  HERE check out the video...no really it's ok.  For the first time, and in honour of today being Halloween and in the memory of the iconic pop star, I will actually encourage you to leave the #TwineTime blog (for a moment) to relive this amazing mini-movie.  But come back ok....

Welcome back....did you enjoy a little scare?  Epic dance moves right?  But now you are asking, what is the relevance other than the holiday posting of these lyrics to the #TwineTime blog and, more specifically, curling?  I am glad you asked dear reader....

Let us do some creepy Halloween peaking into the topic of sports peaking....

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

#MastersGSOC Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Rings Run Green With Envy
Who will step up and claim the 1st major of the season?

Happy Halloween curling fans!  No, I am not dressing up as Slider this year.  And no the curling rings will not drip with Orange and Black...but rather the theme of this week on tour will be green with envy!

It must be time for The Masters to hit the house of the curling season.  The season's second Grand Slam of Curling event and first major will take over the Llodyminster Centennial Civic Centre from October 24 to October 29.

The build-up towards PyeongChang becomes more real with every passing week of the season and while some teams are seeing gold....others could be seeing green by the time The Masters wraps up on Sunday evening.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

#PowerRankings W8

#BetweenTheSheets: Week 8 Power Rankings
Money, money, money, money....Sponsorship's are keys to success

I love money!  You love money!  We all love money!!  Right?  Well sports teams also love money....but in a slightly different way than perhaps you and I do.

Travel, spiel entry fees, food, equipment....all of these things add up in the world of sports.  Whether a small town hockey team to an amateur athlete with Olympic aspirations to a professional athlete playing in the biggest league in the world, the costs associated with being the best still add up regardless of your level of play.

Enter the world of Sponsorship!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

#PowerRankings W7

#BetweenTheSheets: Week 7 Power Rankings
Controversy stirs debate...what a week?!

As our curling season starts to pick up steam and the rocks start sliding closer and closer towards the pinpoint of the year, the 2018 Winter Olympics, the intensity meter seems to be turning up week in and week out.

Some teams are handling the pressure of the Olympic season quite well.  Some are revving up their game in the early part of the season and look to move from a "what if" possibility to an Olympic title contender.  And some have felt the 352lbs of weight crash in on them.  Pressure and stress are interesting emotions that can bring out the best and worst in people.

But what about controversy?  We have had a relatively quiet season on the controversy front, especially compared to year's past.  No allegations of cheating.  No major falls and injuries.  And changes were brought in to the sport from the governing federation with major approval.

Who knew #TwineTime would be the one to get people riled up?  Well it happened folks....

Thursday, 12 October 2017

#Curling S1718W6

#BetweenTheSheets:  Rankings Revamp Required!
2017/18 season has taught us the current system is not working

In this week's updated #PowerRankings blog post, the featured topic of discussion was asking the question of whether or not parity has hit the curling house.  Are we seeing more teams compete for tour championship wins on an annual basis or are the same teams continuing to dominate?

The results fielded a mixed response bag but, when looked at over a two year period, it would appear we are seeing the needle move forward on the parity issue.  As mentioned in the blog post, parity is good for sport in general.  More competitive teams means more competitive events meaning more competitive action on the ice resulting in an increase in fan excitement and ultimately an increase in game play from the athletes themselves.

But if parity is truly hitting the hack nowadays, does this finally mean a warranted review or even revamp of the current Order of Merit (OOM) points structure needs to be brought to the forefront?

Wednesday, 11 October 2017


Hello October 11, Welcome! 
The day is here, today is #NCOD

"It's hard to trust people, you know?  You kinda get used to being alone and you feel like you're strong enough to do it all by yourself but that's not true.  I do want somebody to believe in me and I want to believe in someone else."

Wiser words may have never been spoken on a television program than the quote above.  No this is not from Will & Grace or Ellen.  Don't jump right into the stereotype already based on the topic of this blog.  This quote was spoken by Jussie Smollett as Jamal Lyon on the hit TV show Empire in last week's episode.  As soon as I heard the quote I quickly melted into a pan of emotion.  3 lines.  3 lines from a TV show.  3 lines from a TV show that sum up my personal emotions on a regular basis.  Who knew?

October 11 is National Coming Out Day.  A day where those who identify themselves within the LGBTQ community celebrate coming out and those who are community allies can stand up and show their support.  October 11, 2017.  A day of celebration.  A day some of us have also dreaded for an entire year.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

#PowerRankings W6

#BetweenTheSheets: Week 6 Power Rankings
Is #TourParity the new #TeamUpset this season?

Often sports fans grow tired of seeing the same names celebrating with championship wins year after year.  Perhaps call it the "Patriots Syndrome" from the NFL or, right now, the "Penguin Problem" in the NHL or the "Yankees Issue" with MLB.  These same teams seem to either win or be right there in the thick of the championship race season after season after season.

Now if you are a fan of these "dynasty" teams you are probably all for this and are asking yourself, "What's the problem with that? I don't see an issue here!"  And you are right.  But what about the fans of all the other teams in these leagues?  Don't they grow tired of watching the same teams in the playoffs year in and year out?  You better believe it!  Everyone loves an upset.  Everyone loves seeing a team with a playoff drought fight back and make a deep playoff run for a season or two....or more.  Sports is fun because of competition and the same teams coming out on top drops the interest in the sport for the casual fan.  Your diehard fan will always be there of course.

But what about smaller sports or individual sports?  What about those sports still technically classified as "amateur" sports?  Do these sports suffer a "dynasty" problem or are they seeing more parity?  What about curling?

Friday, 6 October 2017

#Curling S1718W5

#BetweenTheSheets: We Want Canada!
Brazil challenges the title holders for a world championship berth

The curling world, especially fans in Canada, received a slight surprise this week when Brazil formally challenged the powerhouse nation for a 2018 World Men's Curling Championship berth.

The best-of-five series will take place in January in London, Ontario during the 2018 Continental Cup.  Canada may be the #1 ranked nation in the world but even they are not protected from a world challenge.

How did this all happen many fans asked this week?  It is quite simple really.  The America's Zone is granted 2 spots at the world championships.  Due to USA acting as host (Las Vegas, NV) and the host nation receiving an auto berth, Canada dipped into the 2nd spot.  This opened the door for Brazil, another member association in the zone, to issue the challenge to Canada for the second spot.

From a #growthesport perspective, this is great!  But some feel this is unfair......

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

#WMxCC2017 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: World Mixed Curling 
Championship Preview
Who takes home the first world championship of the season?

While tour events and Olympic hype generates much of the buzz around this curling season, there are still numerous world championship events on the curling calendar for fans to be salivating over.  The first championship of the 2017/18 season is about to get underway in Champery, Switzerland: The World Mixed Curling Championship.

With mixed doubles being added to the Olympic roster for 2018, mixed curling has been left in the hack with less emphasis and discussion.  To the layman sports fan the two terms "mixed" and "mixed doubles" may seem like one in the same.  Let's be clear here, the event starting this week will feature teams of four, similar to traditional curling, consisting of 2 men and 2 women.  Hence the term "mixed curling".

The World Mixed Curling Championship are still in their infancy stage as 2017 marks only the third time this event has been held.  Before we dive into the record-setting 2017 field, let us take a quick #GunnerRunback on the brief history of these championships:

Monday, 2 October 2017

#PowerRankings W5

#BetweenTheSheets: Week 5 Power Rankings
The future dominant nation in curling? Korea?!

Week 4 was certainly a busy one as curling action heat up the ice from Vernon, B.C. to Saskatoon, SK to Stockholm, Sweden to Basel, Switzerland.  It truly was an international week of excitement!

With so many events taking place, you knew there would be various teams and story lines to keep your curling eyes on all weekend.  However, one story emerged that perhaps many people did not predict would.  And not just one story but one nation.

How many of you dear readers were ready to proclaim Korea the rising nation of curling?  How many of you were ready to predict Korea would field 3 championship final teams over the weekend?  Not seeing a lot of hands up in the air am I?  Well, with the numerous events taking place and plethora of top teams competing, the nation of South Korea may have stole the show....and put the rest of the world on notice!