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I like sports....lots of sports...all sports!  Follow my blog as I talk about sports....if you like sports of course

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

2018 #GoldenGranite Awards

#BetweenTheSheets: The 2018 Golden Granite Awards
The annual curling wrap-up awards show takes centre ice


Every four years we hit the apex of a curling cycle when the Winter Olympics rock the sports world and fans around the world become more patriotic and excited to cheer on their athletes pursuit for gold.

The 2017/18 curling season marked that exact apex in the sport with the PyeongChang games hitting the ice this past February. But while the Olympics really took most of the attention on the season there were plenty of storylines, on and off the ice, making this past season one for the history books.

The #TwineTime blog has now created a tradition with hosting a wrap-up awards blog post discussing the high's and low's of the season while handing out a few specific awards based on season results.

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Golden Granite Awards!

Thursday, 14 June 2018

#WorldCup Preview

#BetweenThePitch: A Non-European Team Winner in Europe?
60 years have passed, are the history books ready for an update in Russia?



It. Is. Here. One of the most anticipated and most talked about sporting events in the world is ready to take centre stage this week when the FIFA World Cup finally hits the pitch in Russia. The question isn't whether the world is ready, we are. But is Russia ready? Lets hope so!

It is quite amazing how fast the four years have passed since Germany lifted the World Cup Trophy in sunny Brazil, amidst a slightly disappointed and perhaps anger Brazilian fanbase. There are many questions heading into the 2018 edition though.
  • Can Germany become the third repeat champion and first since 1962? 
  • Can Brazil put to bed the ghosts of their 7-1 SF loss four years ago? 
  • Can Spain rediscover the magic that brought them home the golden trophy in 2010? 
  • Or could we see a new champion crowned? 
  • Watch out for some of the #TeamUpset contenders!

Welcome to the #TwineTime FIFA World Cup 2018 Preview!

Sunday, 27 May 2018

#RG18 Preview

#BetweenTheBaselines: Predictably Unpredictable??
What should we expect on the red clay in Paris for French Open 2018?


Could there be a more contrasting grand slam event between the men's and women's tour than the second slam of the season at Roland Garros?

On one side we have the almost predictable result before the first ball is served with a strong overwhelming #KingOfClay looking to retain his seat on the thrown with, what appears to be, little to no true resistance from his challengers.

On the flip side we have the unpredictability of an grand slam event producing some of the biggest upsets in tennis and a few "one hit wonder" slam winners.

Is the French Open unpredictably predictable or predictably unpredictable?

Monday, 21 May 2018

Bruce Mouat

#BetweenTheSheets with Bruce Mouat
Discussing "The Shot" in Vegas, rookie results, #growthesport, pursuing education and how exactly do you pronounce 'Mouat'?


The 2017/18 curling season has been put to bed and is now locked into the history books.  There were numerous high's and a few surprises along the way.  One of the most discussed teams on tour this past season was the results of a young Scottish team who took the tour by storm.

With the focus of the season being mainly tied to the 2018 Winter Olympics, teams who did not qualify for PyeongChang had an opportunity to leave their mark on the season through tour and grand slam results.  No team seized the opportunity more than Team Mouat.

The #RoyalWedding may be the top news coming out of Great Britain over this May long weekend but a Scottish Prince could be the story of the 2017/18 curling season!

Welcome the newest member of the #TwineTime blog fam: Bruce Mouat.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Team Hasselborg

#BetweenTheSheets With Team Hasselborg
We discuss "A Goal to A Gold", #growthesport, family, 
funding pressures, #SwedishVikings origins and Game of Thrones?!


So the 2017/18 curling season is over and all the rock heads and stoners are left with moments of reflection on the season that was while thinking about how to pass the time until the first rock slides down the house for the 2018/19 season.

Do not fade away into curling withdraw quite yet curling fans.  The #TwineTime blog has a few more spins of the rock for you to keep your curling mouth salivating.

This is a VERY special moment for the #TwineTime blog as we welcome Olympic champions into the fam.

Are you ready to meet the ladies behind the gold?  The #SwedishVikings themselves?

Welcome to the #TwineTime blog: Team Hasselborg!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

FINAL #PowerRankings 2017/18

#BetweenTheSheets: The Rock Stops Spinning for 2017/18
PLUS who finished atop the curling season Power Rankings mountain?


The time has come.  Cue the Incredible Hulk walk away credits theme music.  Grab the tissue to catch the tear slowly cascading down your cheek.  The rocks are being put away.  The ice is melting into the history books.  The 2017/18 curling season has come to an end!

Are you ready for it?

Well I am sure we are all ready for fun in the sun and nice weather and being active outside but part of you always has a small feeling of sadness when the final event of the season wraps up and the rocks stop spinning for the final time of the year.  It is inevitable of course.  We know it was going to happen.  We are sad.  We are happy.  For some, we are tired!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

#ChampionsCup Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Champions Cup Concludes Curling Year
An intense, high profile curling season spins its final rock at Canada Olympic Park



The time has arrived curling fans.  The moment we knew would finally have to become reality.  We are preparing for the final curling event of the 2017/18 curling season.  Yes, I know it is going to be tough.  Take a few moments right now and let your emotions out before continuing on........

Ready?  Ok....bit more time.....

And exhale!  The Olympic curling season is always one full of emotion, excitement and energy but also one of exhaustion...and not just for the athletes themselves!  We have collectively laughed, cried, disagreed, celebrated and cheered and the time has come to put the season to bed.

Welcome to the 2018 Grand Slam of Curling Champions Cup!

Saturday, 21 April 2018

#WMDCC2018 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships Preview
A record 40 international curling duo's hit the ice in Ostersund, Sweden


Mixed doubles curling perhaps was the ultimate winner emerging from PyeongChang at the 2018 Winter Olympics.  The fact the discipline started the competition before the official Opening Ceremonies while making its debut on the Olympic roster helped propel mixed doubles curling into households around the world.  Social media lit up with excitement and mixed doubles truly captivated the eyes of the world during its Olympic run.

Those within the curling world have known for years mixed doubles was the fastest growing discipline.  One only has to look at the world championships to see the facts.  Each year we see more and more member organizations from around the world enter a team to compete for the world title.  Sure some of these entries may not have much of a chance at even coming close to #TeamUpset status let alone World Champions but the fact is we are seeing more and more curlers emerge from more and more countries worldwide on an annual basis.  This is exactly what the #growthesport movement is all about.

The 2018 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships will be no exception as a record amount of nations have thrown their rocks onto the sheet looking to claim a world title.  40....yes 40!....nations have hit the ice in Sweden for this years world championship event.  Quick math...that is 80 curlers competing.  Wowzers!!  We are in for quite an event....and quite a preview!!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

#PowerRankings W37

#BetweenTheSheets: Celebrations, History, Debates...Oh My?!
The 2017/18 season approaches the final rock with various story lines in play


Rock head and stoners, oh how I have missed you!  I know it is not like either of us took time away from one another or had a messy breakup, we did communicate via social media throughout recent events like the Brier and World Men's Curling Championships but we have not reached out via a blog post in quite some time.  Sorry!  My bad!!

We have A LOT to catch up though don't we?  Since we last connected two Grand Slam of Curling events have spun their final rock this season (Elite X and Players Championship).  We have crowned a women's and men's world champion.  Celebrations have been had.  History has been made.  And debates continue to slide down the curling sheet.  Not to mention we sure have had a gap in time since the last #PowerRankings were released.

Settle in the hack folks, this is going to be fun!  PLUS a little #TwineTime specific announcement 😉

Saturday, 31 March 2018

#WMCC2018 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Canada vs Sweden Rivalry Continues
Can anyone stop a 2017 final repeat in Las Vegas?


44 games and counting.  Approaching 2 years.  Canada is one week away from being undefeated at the World Championships, men's and women's, for 2 YEARS!!  The last Canadian loss at a world championship was Niklas Edin defeating Kevin Koe in the RR back in 2016.  Of course Koe would go on to win his next four games en route to the world title and Canada has not looked back since.

As the 2018 World Men's Curling Championship is set to hit the ice in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend all eyes will be on Canada's Brad Gushue.  The team from The Rock come to Vegas fresh of defending their Brier title a few weeks ago in Regina and will look to go 2 for 2 on the #defendtheice theme by trying to replicate their world title victory from a season ago in Edmonton, AB.

Gushue will walk into the Orleans Arena as favourites but they will not be considered overwhelming favourites.  Watch out for the #SwedishVikings who have revenge on their minds!

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

#FormatFrustrations

#BetweenTheSheets: Format Frustrations Continue
The debate on which playoff format is better for curling rages on *sigh*....


The World Women's Curling Championships wrapped up for another year this past weekend in North Bay, Ontario.  Fans were treated to some outstanding curling throughout the week.  We had some tight battles.  We had some #StealPants victories.  We had some lopsided scorelines.  Pretty consistent with most year's championships I would say.  Outside of course of the special mention to the fans setting a new women's world championship attendance record in Canada! 

The World Curling Federation also unveiled their new format for the world championships.  A new 13-team round robin played out with the Top 6 teams advancing to the playoff round, no tiebreakers allowed.  This is not new news as this format shift was announced months in advance and everyone "should" have been well aware of the new format.  Apparently, similar to the Brier/Scotties, once again we discover the old fact of life we all know and love: you can't please everyone!

#ButFirst.....

Monday, 19 March 2018

#FreeAgentFrenzy

#BetweenTheSheets: It's Not Me, Its You!
Free agent frenzy heating up the curling ice


Do do do
Down dooby doo down down
Comma, comma, down dooby doo down down
Comma, comma, down dooby doo down down
Breaking up is hard to do

Don't take your love away from me
Don't you leave my heart in misery
If you go then I'll be blue
'Cause breaking up is hard to do
- Neil Sedaka "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do"

Yup this is happening folks. Welcome to curling's edition of #MarchMadness. No we are not talking about the grand slam of curling events still to take place nor the world championship events. We are talking about the hottest topic to hit the ice every four year: Free Agency!

With the current Olympic cycle coming to a rest the time has come for teams to start looking ahead and plan for the next four-year cycle. As we know Year 1 is a throw away year in a sense. Players can jockey (no no not THAT kind of jockey, although for some it might have double meaning) for position and take the free pass tryout with a three new players for one season to see how things are going. The Olympic points race only starts to heat up in Year 2 remember.


A player can now take the risk-free path next season and perhaps play with a few players they have always wanted to play with. Maybe we see players even try different positions and try to catch their slider on a nice path for the future. Who knows? All we know for sure is, as Julie Chen would say on Big Brother, "Expect the Unexpected".

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

#Brier2018 Takeout Shots

#BetweenTheSheets: The Brier 2018 Takeout Shots
The Hits and Misses of the Rumble in Regina


The 2018 Tim Hortons Brier is in the books.  When the final rock came to a stop on the button Sunday evening Canada rejoiced.  Yes, Team Canada I mean as Team Gushue successfully defended their Brier championship from a year ago and will now attempt to win back to back world championships in Las Vegas in April.

But the Team Canada fans were not the only one's celebrating.  All of Canada should be celebrating.  Curling fans were treated to a great event over the 10 days of competition....from the Hot Shots and Wildcard play-in game to the Championship Final.  There were moments of greatness.  There were moments of sadness.  There were moments of frustration.  There were moments of high energy excitement.  The Brier truly offered something for everyone, new and old fans alike.  Heck I even had a fan from Sydney, Australia watch a game online and engage on social media with questions and noted his new found love for the sport.  How cool is that?

The #TwineTime blog enjoyed the entire time in Regina.  From the action on the ice to the fun in the patch to the time spent watching my brother start to fully enjoy curling, a great time was had.  Lets start by thanking Curling Canada for once again accepting this blog into the media bench family once again.  I continue to be humbled and thankful for every opportunity and experience!

But it cannot always be a love affair right?  Hits and misses occur every event...and not just in the shots taking place on the ice.  With #TwineTime having a front row seat to the action all week there were quite a few notes made in preparation of the wrap-up blog post.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

#Brier2018 Midterm Grades

#BetweenTheSheets: Brier Midterm Grades
Who is making the cut, barely passing and failing?


The annual tradition of crowning our national men's curling championship is well under way in my hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan.  The games have been a mixture of high quality shot making and lopsided scores.  The crowds have been supportive of great shots with an extra feeling of anxiety/excitement whenever #TeamGreen steps onto the ice.  And the weather.....oh the weather!

#TwineTime has been in attendance since the Friday Hot Shots competition and taking in every draw, analyzing the shots on the ice and looking at how teams are performing....all with the big red marker at my side.

The blog tradition continues. Time to hand out the midterm grades for Brier 2018!

Friday, 2 March 2018

#Brier2018 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: The Rumble In Regina
#TwineTime welcomes special guest Matthew Hall to preview the Brier field


The Rumble in Regina.  The Smackdown in Saskatchewan.  Call it what you want but the theme is the same.  A battle is brewing and ready to hit the ice at the Brandt Centre in Regina starting Friday night and concluding with the crowning of Team Canada 10 days later.  17 teams enter the arena.  1 survives.  Who writes their own Sweet Saskatchewan Story?  Or their own Regina Riches theme song?

The 2018 Winter Olympics are barely in our rear view mirror but who has time for post-Olympic hangover?  Canadian curling fans are already looking ahead and getting ready for another incredible week of curling action with the start of the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier.

And this year will be an interesting one.  We have experienced skips and past champions returning.  We have rookie skips and teams ready to show they belong with the big boys.  We have a new format.  We have a new team designation.  Like I said, it will be a Rumble in Regina....but are you ready for it?

Monday, 26 February 2018

Post-Olympic Power Rankings

#BetweenTheSheets: Post-Olympic Hangover or Excitement?
How did the results in PyeongChang shake up the Power Rankings



Take a deep breath curling fans.  The four-year buildup of competition, anticipation and excitement over the 2018 Winter Olympics has come and gone.  Perhaps as fast as a #GunnerTakeout?!  Curling was the only sport to compete daily during the full duration of the Olympic calendar but it still feels like it went by quick did it not?

The results are in.  The podium is complete.  And now we are left with the after effects.  Are you suffering from the post-Olympic hangover or a new sense of post-Olympic excitement?

There were certainly a number of stories to capture the world's attention.  We had #TeamUpset results.  We had controversy.  We welcomed a new discipline.  We saw social media explode, for the good and the bad.  When we add it all up was the 2018 Winter Olympic curling competition a perfect hit for two, a boring first end blank or an open miss?  Let's summarize what happened....and update our #PowerRankings!

Monday, 19 February 2018

PyeongChang2018 Curling Midterm Grades

#BetweenTheRings: Curling Midterm Grading
Who is passing, who is sliding by and who is failing?


The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics have turned the corner and are in the final few ends of play, culminating with the Closing Ceremony on Sunday February 25.  As everyone is well aware by now, curling has been the top sport for Olympic coverage (well at least in Canada....where are you NBC???).  The sport of curling at this year's Olympics spanned the full gauntlet of competition days, starting before the Opening Ceremony and ending the day of the Closing Ceremony.

But with all those days of Olympic pressure, stress and competition, how has the sport been holding up?  Are the teams competing surviving?  Who are the top story makers at this pivotal turning point of the competition and who have been underperforming?

The #TwineTime blog has been watching the competition closely, or as close as possible given the time difference and having to actually work, and has cracked open good ole Lucky Red to see just who is making the grade in PyeongChang and who is falling short.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Olympic Pool RESULTS

#BetweenTheRings: Winter Olympic Pool RESULTS
Who will win the #TwineTime pool GOLD medal?


FINAL PODIUM STANDINGS: February 25

The 2018 Winter Olympics men's and women's team events are underway in PyeongChang....well actually Gangneung.  We have already seen a few upsets and surprising results.  But the bigger question perhaps is how these results are affecting the outcome of the #TwineTime Winter Olympics 50/50 Pool?

As you may be aware, for this Olympic team competition I opened up the idea of running a 50/50 pool where 50% of the entry fees would be donated to the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association.  The remaining 50% would be divided up at the end of the competition to claim our Gold, Silver and Bronze pool podium finishers.

This pool is structured where your entry was divided into three parts: Round Robin, Final Standings, The Playoffs.  To participate you needed to pick the winners of all 90 men's and women's RR games for Section A.  You would then predict the final RR standings for Section B and, finally, the playoff brackets for Section C.

It may seem like a lot but, with this format, you can afford a few RR misses along the way and still have a shot at the overall gold if you could nail the standings and podium finishes.  It won't be easy but someone is going to survive the competition on the ice and take home a pretty sweet winner's cheque.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

PyeongChang2018 Women's Curling

#BetweenTheRings: Women's Curling Preview
Canada looking to #DefendTheIce in South Korea


It is time to slide out of the hack with our focus on the women's team event at the 2018 Winter Olympics.  The men's preview (found HERE) touched on a strong yet perhaps divided field with a small handful of teams being pre-event favourites for the podium.  The women's preview is a bit more up in the air.

We have an equally strong women's team field but also find a few more question marks pebbling the ice.  We have some teams with little to no international experience yet have made big names for themselves on tour over the past few seasons.  We have some teams with Olympic and World Championship experience looking to stake their claim at the top of the curling mountain.  And we have some teams who are Olympic rookies but could be considered some of the strongest teams in the women's game we have seen in recent history.

Which side wins out?  International experience?  Rookie luck?  Or perhaps a #TeamUpset emerges and turns the curling stone on its head by shocking the world?  One thing for certain, this competition will be anything but a straight draw to the rings for the win!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

PyeongChang2018 Men's Curling

#BetweenTheRings: Men's Curling Preview
Can Canada #DefendTheIce in Gangneung, Korea?


The first-ever mixed doubles Olympic curling competition has just finished cleaning the house at the Gangneung Curling Centre and here we are ready for 12 more days of Olympic curling competition with the upcoming start of the men's and women's team tournament.

As we are all well aware by now, curling is the only sport running the full duration of #PyeongChang2018.  In fact, since mixed doubles started the day before the Opening Ceremonies and the women's gold medal is the same day as the Closing Ceremonies, curling will actually run longer than the official competition schedule (based on days the Olympic flame is lit anyways).  Total days of curling action: 18 consecutive days!

When Canada and Switzerland stepped onto the ice for the mixed doubles final, both nations knew they would not only create history in being named the first mixed doubles Olympic champions but they would also open the door for more history to possibly be created in just over a week's time.  The winner would accomplish step one of the overall curling plan: Own the Podium!  Can one nation win all three 2018 Winter Olympic gold medals?

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

#PyeongChang2018 MD Preview

#BetweenTheRings: Mixed Doubles Debut
Curling adds the new discipline to the Olympic roster in Korea


Welcome back into our lives Olympic Games!  It has been just under two years since the world united under the Olympic rings and this week the Olympic spirit will reign supreme once again when the 2018 Winter Olympics hit the global viewership from PyeongChang, South Korea.

The Opening Ceremonies are slated for Friday February 9 at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, a temporary 35,000 seat pentagonal design structure.  But while the official start of the games will be when the Olympic flame is lit at Olympic Stadium, the actual competition will begin a day earlier.

The 2018 Winter Olympics will kick-off with the welcoming of a new Olympic discipline added to the roster: Mixed Doubles Curling!

Monday, 5 February 2018

#TeamWC Debate

#BetweenTheSheets: It's A Wild Wildcard Debate
#TeamWC - Yay or Nay for the future of the sport in Canada?!?


Congratulations to Kerri Einarson and her team from Manitoba on reaching the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts championship this past Sunday.  The Manitoba-based team put up a fight to the finish but ultimately succumbed to...Team Manitoba, skipped by Jennifer Jones.

So Team Manitoba defeated Team Manitoba?  Well, not exactly.  Team Einarson was wearing the title of Team Wildcard en route to the Scotties final, a new addition to the national championship format.

This weekend wrapped up the first iteration of the wildcard inclusion into a national championship....and the results were mixed.

From a competitive perspective, the results were extremely positive and successful.  From a #growthesport perspective, there are still many questions/concerns lingering behind.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Brier2018 Playdowns

#BetweenTheSheets: Road To Regina
Men's playdown pressure packs the ice across the country



"The Queen City".  The capital of Saskatchewan.  The home city of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  The homeland for curling legend Sandra Schmirler.  And the original upraising for #TwineTime!  Oh yes, many great people bleed the green of Saskatchewan and call the City of Regina their home.  And from March 3 - 11, the best curlers from around our great nation will call Regina their temporary home as well when they arrive to compete in the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier!

Everyone is well aware of the new format this year, moving away from a single round robin and playing a dual round robin mini-pool with the top four teams advancing to the championship pool for a shot at the title.  We also see the increase to a 16-team field with all 3 territories having equal representation, in addition to the traditional Northern Ontario representation and relatively new Team Canada entry.  And of course the addition of the (controversial?!) Team Wild Card!  But more on that below....

Before we can even break down the format and discuss what will go down in the Brandt Centre at the beginning of March, we first need to fill out the field right?  Well this weekend will surely do so with six provincial championships hitting the ice to slide down the #RoadtoRegina.

Friday, 26 January 2018

#STOH2018 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Pressure In Penticton
The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts hits the ice in B.C.


It's that time curling fans.  We have seen grand slam wins.  We have watched Olympic trials high's and low's.  We have cheered on our favourite teams throughout grueling provincial playdowns.  The time has finally arrived where the hard work, sweat and tears will pay off....The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are upon us.

The pressure will be high in Penticton for a number of reasons.  Obviously the sole survivor will go on to represent Canada at the upcoming world championships and earn their return ticket next year as #TeamCanada at the Scotties but the entire event will be feeling some pressure as well.

This year's Scotties features a format change.  We welcome a new team.  Change can be welcomes with open arms or discarded before the first rock is thrown.  Everyone seems to have an opinion on this event and all eyes will be watching to see how it plays out on the ice....perhaps with an increased sense of either enthusiasm or criticism.

With all the changes and increased debate surrounding the lead-up to the 2018 Scotties, you know #TwineTime could not hit the ice solo for this preview blog post.  I had to go out and find an experienced player who has been to a Scotties.  Who has experienced pre-qualification.  We have participated in the new pool play format.  Join me in welcoming the newest member of the #TwineTime family: Cathlia Ward!

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

#PowerRankings W24

#BetweenTheSheets:  Hopp Schwiiz Rules The House
Switzerland teams collect tour wins all over the globe this week


As January 2018 becomes nothing more than a failed lead stone that sailed through the house, the curling world is getting ready for the big events of the 2017/18 season.  The 2018 Winter Olympics are right around the corner.  The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts hits the ice this upcoming weekend.  Provincial tankard events are about to get under way as well and the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier field will soon be finalized.  Sooooooo much curling!!

But ask yourself this, which nation did you think would enter February 2018 looking like the strongest curling nation on the planet?  Most of you would probably say Canada right?  A few would say Sweden.  Both would be great guesses.

How many of you expected Switzerland?  #HoppSchwiiz certainly made a claim to cover the pin with their results on the ice this weekend.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

2018 Winter Olympics 50/50 Pool

#BetweenTheSheets: Can YOU Win Olympic Gold?
Enter the #TwineTime 50/50 pool and try to navigate the Olympic draw

The countdown is on rock heads and stones.  We are inching closer and closer to the pinnacle of sport: The Olympic Games!  The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea are literally right around the corner now.  With the games set to kick-off with the Opening Ceremonies on February 9, the close to the opening month of the year means the high drama and intensity of Olympic coverage is set to take over the eyes of the world.

As a fan, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you like watching curling?
  • Do you like raising money for a good cause?
  • Do you like winning money?
If you answered yes to at least one (hopefully all) of the questions above, read on dear friend.  #TwineTime has a deal for you!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

#CanadianOpen

#BetweenTheSheets: Bracketology is Back!
Curling's best dreaming of Red Rings, Red Rings, Red Rings

It's Bracket Busting Time Baby!  And if the brackets are out and we are talking about curling it can only mean one thing.  Welcome to the first Grand Slam of Curling event of the calendar year: The Meridian Canadian Open!

Ok I know, the idea of "bracketology" is not the same with curling as it is with the #MarchMadness NCAA basketball tournament.  And yes, I realize most tour events throughout the year employ a similar triple knockout bracket structure.  To that I say....stop killing my buzz and lets just enjoy the one slam event with a completely different format (ie: no pool play/round robin/tie breaker drama) alright?

We can do some seed projection, which can be interesting since technically there are no "seeds" and a speculated #1 might be facing a speculated #2 or #3 in the opening round.  But that can be fun as well!  We can discuss quadrant favourites.  We can identify #BracketBusters.  What's not to love here?

Sunday, 14 January 2018

AusOpen Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi
The first grand slam of the tennis season kicks off in Melbourne


Memories of one-year ago are overflowing through me this week as the Australian Open kicks off in Melbourne.  Last year at this time I was Down Under soaking in the sun (a little too much perhaps) and checking off a huge sporting bucket list item, attending the Australian Open!


For those who are sports fans, not just tennis fans, I would highly recommend making the trip and checking out the #AusOpen.  The cost of tickets is VERY affordable.  The weather is PERFECT!  The tennis action is OUTSTANDING!  My first night I was watching #GOAT Roger Federer take on a personal fav of mine, Austrian Jurgen Melzer in R1 action en route to claiming another slam title.

The big questions heading into 2018 are whether Mr. Federer can collect grand slam title #20 and what to make of a WIDE open women's draw with the absence of Serena Williams?

Saturday, 13 January 2018

CJCC2018 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Junior Showdown in Shawinigan
The Canadian Junior Curling Championships hit the ice in La belle province


The season of champions continues in Shawinigan, Quebec when the 2018 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championship gets underway this weekend.  With the Olympic trials in the past and other big events like the European Curling Championships and Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in the rear view mirror, it is time for the Canadian junior teams to take centre stage.

The junior championships are the epitome of the #growthesport movement.  The opportunity to compete at a national championship can be the springboard towards future success in the sport, just ask past Canadian champs Kevin Martin, Brad Gushue, Jennifer Jones, Rachel Homan, John Morris, Kaitlyn Lawes and many others.

Will we see a future men's and/or women's Canadian, World and/or Olympic champion hit the ice at the 2018 Canadian Junior Curling Championship?  Time will tell....but the field is stacked with talent and experience.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

STOH2018 Playdowns Part II

#BetweenTheSheets: Playing for Penticton
Who will punch their ticket to B.C. for the Scotties?


Oh how I love January.  Sure the weather turns frightfully cold but all it does is provide incentive to stay indoors and watch more curling!  With the Scotties and Brier playdowns in the calendar and more and more member associations finally streaming playdown games and playoffs, the options are plentiful for the curling fan who doesn't want to miss any of the action.

The top women's teams in Canada are now "Playing for Penticton" and trying to win a provincial/territorial championship to earn their spot at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.  We began to fill in the blank spaces Sunday evening and we will fill out the rest of the bingo card at the end of the upcoming weekend.

Get ready folks.....this is going to be an action-packed weekend of curling action coming from the ice house to your house.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

CMDT2018 & STOH2018 Playdowns

#BetweenTheSheets: Packing Playdown Pressure 
Olympic aspirations, Scotties hopes and Brier dreams on the line


Pressure pushing down on me
Pressure down on you no man ask for
Under pressure that brings a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

Here we go!  The pressure has been mounting for weeks.  For months.  For years.  The time has come to step up, prep the brooms, shine up the slider and either earn a crowning achievement or suffer a sports moment disappointment.

We are barely fresh into 2018 and all ready the curling season continues with the high pressure events on the calendar.  The final stop on the #Roadto2018 will reach its destination when the Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials hit the ice in Portage.  With the Olympic men's and women's team fields being finalized, the final Olympic ticket to be punched is Team Canada's entry in the mixed doubles discipline.  The final Olympic dreams will come to an end for 34 athletes while 2 will be the final curling athletes to don the #TeamCanada jackets.

But championship dreams are not just hinged on Olympic aspirations this week either.  The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2018 Tim Hortons Brier field will start to be filled in by the end of the weekend.  6 provincial/territorial Scotties berths are on the line in addition to 1 provincial Brier spot up for grabs.

We have A LOT of curling to discuss this week curling fans....

<Ed. Note: The NWT Scotties section has been updated>