Tuesday, 28 May 2019

2019 #GoldenGranite Award Winners

#BetweenTheSheets: Golden Granite Award Winners
The full list of who took home the big awards this season

With this season introducing many new #GoldenGranite Awards to centre ice, it made more sense to have one blog post just focused on the announcement of the winners and nominees.

ICYMI the introduction to this year's award ceremony, including a few highlights of this past blogging season, can be found HERE.

There will be 15 awards presented this season. The first award was presented in the introduction blog post: Social Team of the Year. The remaining 14 awards will be revealed here with a new category announced daily. Check back each day to see the next category nominees and winner.

Lets get to it.....

Monday, 27 May 2019

2019 #GoldenGranite Awards

#BetweenTheSheets: The 2019 Golden Granite Awards
Returning categories. New categories. More nominees. More winners.

With the Arctic Cup competition coming to a completion this past weekend, the 2018/19 curling season has come to an end. O-FFIC-IAL-LY!!!

When we add it all up the season will be one for the history books. But how will it be remembered? The first post-Olympic season is always a wild card year. The Olympic cycle does not start. New teams are formed. Old teams have one last season to figure out if they still like each other enough to make a run at the next Winter Olympics. And change can prove successful or halted before sliding too far into the game.

Who were the big winners of the season? Who waved the ultimate #TeamUpset flag? What nations stood out? And who underperformed? What were the hot topics and cold misses of the year? There is only one way to answer all these questions.

Welcome to the #TwineTime Annual Golden Granite Awards!

Friday, 3 May 2019

#PowerRankings FINAL

#BetweenTheSheets: Last. One. Standing.
Who stands alone on the apex as #1 for the 2018/19 season?

The time has come. The moment were we collectively shed some tears. The stones are being put away. The ice is melting. The broom bags are in the closet. And the smelly gear, from jersey to pants to lucky socks and boxers, are FINALLY going to get washed! Ok maybe some of those tears are a result of bad odor and are tears of joy from those around us.

A curling season that began back in August 2018 has come to a close in May 2019. 10 months folks. 10 months of competitive curling. Amazing.

There has been a lot of talk about the length of the curling season but lets save those conversation for the off-season. We have a few months to debate new ideas and theories. Plus we will *probably* have some major #FreeAgentFrenzy to discuss. But not today curling fans. Today we celebrate a season which enters the history books.

As the sun sets on the 2018/19 curling season, which teams and which nation stand tall above everyone else as #1? Time to find out rock heads.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

#ChampionsCup Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Champions Cup Preview
Saying goodbye and a final delivery to the 2018/19 curling season

🎵🎵 Goodbye my friend
I know you're gone, you said you're gone
But I can still feel you here
It's not the end
Gotta keep it strong
Before the pain turns into fear
So glad we made it
Time will never change it, no no no 🎵🎵

Oh the memories. We have had a season of up's and down's rock heads but it is the end of April. The inevitable is now upon us. We must deliver our final stone of the curling year and say goodbye to the 2018/19 season.

As the Spice Girls song above references, we knew it was coming. We knew it would happen. But it doesn't mean the feeling is any less sad. From celebratory fist bumps to consolation hugs, from cheers to tears, it has been quite the year. But we must keep our head's up, our brooms on the ice and our sliders clean to remember the moments of the season. Results aside, we celebrate the sport of curling for another year.

Welcome to the Champions Cup! The event to close out the season and help us say goodbye. Before emotions take over, lets get excited one last time and close out this year with a bang....or a triple runback in-off double? Anyone?!? Bueller?

Friday, 19 April 2019

#WMDCC2019 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Mixed Doubles Relegation?
Historic 48 nations competing this year but change is coming

Easter weekend is upon us. April is almost over. May is right around the corner. Can you believe it rock heads? Our curling season is actually coming to a close.

The final world championships of the year will take place this week in Stavanger, Norway when the World Mixed Doubles and World Senior Curling Championships hit the ice. The season began in August and here we are late April preparing to crown our final world champions.

I'm not crying....you are crying. Lets get to it...

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

#PowerRankings W28

#BetweenTheSheets: To Blog or Not To Blog...
Plus the #PowerRankings sees a new change while crowning another

To blog or not to blog...should that be the question?

What is the role of a blogger? What are the expectations? Should there be a desired outcome? Do blogs give a voice for the people by the people? Should they tow the line? Should they be honest? Where is the line between criticism and being a jerk?

Recently there has been a string of debates on social media about non-traditional media (ie: bloggers, podcasts) and the role they play in sport. Reading the tweets sure makes you think internally about what role #TwineTime really plays on this grand sheet of ice.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

#PowerRankings W27

#BetweenTheSheets: King Niklas = GOAT?
Plus NEW men's, women's and nations power rankings

Every sport has its GOAT. No, no not the athlete on the team who goes back for double or triple helpings at a buffet line and will eat anything. I am talking about THE GOAT...The Greatest Of All Time.

GOAT conversations happen all the time in sport. The debate rages on as sports media and fans discuss who is the true GOAT. We all know Wayne Gretzky is the GOAT of hockey. Tough to argue against Roger Federer for tennis. Michael Jordan for basketball. Tiger Woods in golf, although some would say Jack Nicklaus or other greats. After his Super Bowl win this year Tom Brady seems to have cemented his legacy even more in the GOAT conversation.

But what about curling? Who is the GOAT of curling?

After a dominating world championship performance last week it might be time to name #KingNiklas the curling GOAT.

Thursday, 28 March 2019

#WMCC2019 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: The Madness Comes To Lethbridge
Which nation can slide through the "Gateway of Opportunity"?

Let the madness continue! #MarchMadness on ice jumps across the pond from Denmark to Canada for the next big international event.

Last week we wrapped up the women's world championship with a fitting final between two powerhouse nations: Switzerland and Sweden. In the end Switzerland's Team Tirinzoni would prevail over Sweden's Team Hasselborg and claim the world title.

The final was entertaining, filled with great shots and an extra end for the championship. The entire week of competition truly was madness as teams fought for playoff positions. One nation made history in a good way (Korea winning bronze). One nation fell into unfamiliar territory (Canada failing to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1999). Either way, we witnessed a week of curling madness...and we loved every spinning rock moment.

But as one rock comes to a stop another must be delivered. The women lit up the ice and now the men will take centre sheet as the World Men's Curling Championship gets underway this weekend in Lethbridge.

You are not getting tired of championship curling yet are you? Stay with us rock heads....the madness sweeps on!

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Rylan Kleiter

#BetweenTheSheets with Rylan Kleiter
"Do you wanna play video games?"

The #TwineTime blog has developed a rich history of adding champions into the #TwineTimeFam. We have Grand Slam of Curling champions. We have Canadian junior curling championships. We have U-SPORT champions. We have world champions. We have Olympic champions. We have world junior champions. We have provincial and territorial champions. We have mixed doubles champions.

Well time to add another champion to the list folks, another World Junior Curling champion!

Welcome to the fam Rylan Kleiter.

But don't think the recent world championship win has gone to the young man's head folks. Sometimes you just want to kick back, text a buddy and ask "Do you wanna play video games?"

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

#CMDCC2019 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: The Frenzy in Fredericton
Canada's best duos head to New Brunswick chasing a national title

March Madness continues folks. We have the World Women's Curling Championship underway in Denmark right now. And this week the madness on ice continues back in Canada as we get set to crown our next #TeamCanada, this time in the discipline of mixed doubles.

32 teams have qualified for the #CMDCC2019 and will compete for the right to represent Canada at the upcoming World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Norway next month. Can our defending champs successfully #DefendTheIce? Could past champions emerge to reclaim the throne? Or could we see a #TeamUpset duo surprise the field and snatch the gold?

Get ready for the Frenzy in Fredericton! And always remember the theme for mixed doubles: #NoLeadIsSafe.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

#WWCC2019 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: The Skirmish in Silkeborg
Top women's curling teams battle for world supremacy in Denmark

The #MarchMadess continues rock heads!

No I don't mean the preparation for the upcoming NCAA basketball tournament (although this blog is a HUGE fan of that event as well). We are talking about the world championship excitement on the ice every March.

March is the penultimate month to the curling season. March is world championship month. Last week we crowned new world wheelchair curling champions. This week we prepare for the women's world championship in Silkeborg. And we end the month with the start of our men's world championship in Lethbridge, Alberta.

March is curling madness!!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

#PowerRankings W25

#BetweenTheSheets: Weekend Runback
Bye bye #Brier2019 & #WWhCC2019 + NEW Power Rankings

What a weekend! Who was sweating more this weekend? Alberta curling fans? Ben Hebert from sweeping? B.J. Neufeld from watching the time clock tick, tick, tick away with his skipper in the hack? I would not want to be doing the laundry for those boys Monday morning.

We can probably safely assume the only one not sweating was our 2019 Brier champion skip Kevin Koe, who appears calm, cool and collected all game regardless of shot difficulty or time constraints. Besides time is relative right?

What it is time for though is a little #TwineTime runback of the hot topics from this past week of curling action. We have the Brier to discuss but also crowning a new world champ at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship. AND finally some new (and debut) Power Rankings!!

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

#Brier2019 Midterm Grades

#BetweenTheSheets: Making The Grade In Brandon
Big Red returns to fill out the midterm report card


My trusty friend Big Red returns to hold those accountable for their actions and reward the good while scolding the bad. Some teams are making the grade. Some are just doing the bare minimum to avoid failure. And some, one in particular, is on the downward slide towards failing. There is no bell curve in place here folks. Your actions and results on the ice speak for themselves.

It is report card time at the 2019 Brier and this blog is ready to do some grading.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

#WWhCC2019 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: World Wheelchair Curling
Championship Preview
Stirling, Scotland welcomes the best wheelchair curling athletes

Can you smell that curling fans? The smell of gold is in the air this time of year. The weather is cold. The curling houses are active. And the world championship rocks are spinning. February and March are exciting times for curling athletes and fans alike.

Last week we watched the #NextGen athletes hit the ice at the World Junior Curling Championships. This week we get to watch our sport's best para-athletes take over centre sheet at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

#STOH2019/#WJCC2019 Midterms

#BetweenTheSheets: Midterm Report Card
Who is making the grade at #STOH2019 AND #WJCC2019?

Is it reading week for some of our future leaders, curlers and Olympians right now? The time where they can put down the textbooks, the highlighters and the notepad and go live life and have fun? Well yes rock heads it is reading week. And what perfect timing. Those young minds can hit up their closest arena and curling club, get some exercise and enjoy the fundamental game we love: curling!

But alas it is not a holiday week for everyone. We also have some pretty major curling competitions going on right now on Bluenose Island. Nova Scotia is hosting the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2019 World Junior Curling Championships. For those young minds who cannot (or will not) venture outside, at least they can chill on the couch and watch some great curling right?

For some of us media types (ha like how I just self-appoint myself a curling media member there?!) the work picks up more steam than ever trying to jostle coverage of two major events at the same time. It is why, for this special blog post, both events will be facing Big Red.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

#WJCC2019 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: World Junior Curling
Championships Preview
Can Team Canada #DefendTheIce in Liverpool, NS?

Grand slam events. Tour events. National championships. They are all important during a curling season. But there is something extra special and extra exciting when you get to throw your national flag on your back and compete to represent your country.

Starting this weekend, 10 junior men's and junior women's teams will know that feeling. Some have experienced that feeling before. Some will feel that sense of national pride for the first time. Regardless of resume, all 20 teams will come out ready to chase world championship glory and fight to have their national flag hung and their national anthem played at the end of the event.

Welcome to the 2019 World Junior Curling Championships!

Friday, 15 February 2019

#STOH2019 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Heart's Aflutter With Scotties Fever
Special Guest Michelle Englot talks her career and breaks down the field

Valentine's Day may have just come and gone but your little curling hearts should be beating faster than normal for the next week rock heads. You all know what February means right? It is time for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts!!

Time for the best Canadian female curlers to hit the ice and put the entire season of hard work, dedication, practice and training to the test in an attempt to become the next #TeamCanada and book their spot at the upcoming 2019 World Women's Curling Championship in Denmark.

But you know an event of this magnitude with a field full of experience could not be tackled by one lone curling fan and blogger? Oh no, we had to call in the big guns to help us navigate the field and preview the entire event.

We are set to welcome out newest member of the #TwineTimeFam: Michelle Englot!

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Playdowns Preview III

#BetweenTheSheets: Playdown After Party
The playdown preview rages on into after party hours

Rocks are spinning. Brooms are sweeping. Drinks are pouring. Victories are being celebrated. Tears are being wept. Seasons are being ended. The playdown party is raging on for another week folks!

When the party officially kicked off a few weeks ago we were starting down the path towards crowning provincial/territorial champions and filling in those blanks on the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier bingo square. Excitement was at an all-time high and everyone was in the party mood.

Last week the playdown party hit the coveted midnight mark. You know the midnight marker at a party. Everyone is feeling a bit more buzzed and loosened up. The party arrow is pointing to the far right on the fun meter. And, even though you have been at it for a few hours, you know you have it in you to go a few more.

This week, we enter the after party. Your first location has made the last call announcement and now the lights have come on. But you aren't done. You want the fun to continue. Tired? Sleep is for the weak when you are in party mode. Now we need to find the after party. We drop off a few friends who cannot keep going and the true hardcore party animals line up for the extended part of the evening. This is where we are now. Welcome to the Playdown After Party!

Friday, 1 February 2019

Greg Smith

#BetweenTheSheets with Greg Smith
Smith brings his own style of energy and excitement to the ice

If you watched the Brier last year in Regina, you may have heard about a young 21-year old skip from The Rock stealing the hearts of curling fans in the arena. With dance move reactions, high jumps and the occasional leg kick, Greg Smith warmed the ice with his flare for the sport.

Welcome our newest member of the #TwineTimeFam: Greg Smith.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Playdowns Preview II

#BetweenTheSheets: Playdown Party Approaches Midnight
We have winners, upsets and controversy after a busy playdown weekend

The #TwineTime blog promised you last week you were about to step foot into the playdown party right? Well what a party is has been...and the party on ice is still going folks.

This past weekend we had celebrations, upsets, controversy, debate, welcome back's and implosions. There really was something for us all to like at this party. And the clock is only starting to approach midnight.

With the party continuing on into the night hours, what does the curling world have in store for us next?

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Playdowns Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: It's Playdown Party Time!
Time to fill in the names of Scotties and Brier representatives

As the World Curling Tour season starts to come to a close, we turn around and welcome the high-pressured drama of Playdown Season. With the Scotties only a mere few weeks away, provincial/territorial championships have either concluded or are underway as we move closer to filling in the names on the competition lines.

This is the action-packed week where we have 5 provincial women's championships to keep our eyes on. Not to mention 2 provincial men's championships. Which, as an aside, do we like the joint hosting of men's and women's provincials? It sure seems to make things easier from a logistical point of view, especially for a few of the smaller provinces like New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It could never be done for say Manitoba or Alberta but Ontario is doing it now so maybe it is not such a stretch. Things that make you go hmmm?!?

Anyway, back to the real topic at hand: Welcome to Provincial Playdown Party Time!!

Saturday, 19 January 2019

#CJCC2019 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Re-Writing History in Prince Albert?
Familiar faces take the ice at the Canadian Junior Curling Championships

Welcome to the Season of Champions portion of the 2018/19 curling season. After all the world curling tour events and Curling World Cup legs and Grand Slam of Curling excitement we are finally ready to play for the big ticket item: Team Canada jackets!!

The 2019 Canadian Junior Curling Championships will claim Prince Albert, Saskatchewan as home for the next week as teams representing their province/territory look to navigate a difficult slide path from pool play to championship pool play to playoffs to ultimately being crowned the new Team Canada. For the men's and women's teams who do emerge with the title next weekend they will feel the pride of playing for a world championship as the home nation at the 2019 World Junior Curling Championships in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

LOTS of pressure, stress, drama and excitement for all the players who qualified to compete this week. And think, what were you doing in January when you were 18 or 19 or 20 years old?

Friday, 18 January 2019

#WQE2019 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: World Qualification Event Preview
Which member associations seize the last chance to qualify for world's?

Many curling eyes will be wide open to the bright lights in Las Vegas this weekend for the Continental Cup, cheering on some of their favourite teams and athletes. However, while many of the "elite" are enjoying their time in Vegas there are a few teams fighting for a spot in the world championship field.

2019 marks the first time the World Curling Federation hosts a last chance World Qualification Event for member associations who have failed to qualify for the world championships via their continental qualification.

If you want to compete with the world's best, this is your time to prove you belong on the big ice. Fun in the sun for some in Vegas but high pressure and increase stress for others on the other side of the world.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

#PowerRankings W20

#BetweenTheSheets: GSOC, Scotties, Brier...Oh My
Welcome 2019: Time to enter the Danger Zone of High Pressure for teams

What a way to slide into 2019 this past weekend. We had a grand slam of curling major producing some interesting results. Plus we started down the road to Sydney, Nova Scotia and Brandon, Manitoba for the Canadian championships.

Welcome to curling in January where the importance of games, the high pressure to perform and the stress level of athletes starts to reach a fever pitch. For some teams, failing to advance out of a regional playdown could spell the end to your season two weeks into the new year. While for others, it is a win and in mentality.

For many slam teams, the Canadian Open was the last event before entering provincial playdowns. The last opportunity to hone down on some skills or play with line-up configurations or just get ready for, arguably, the most important part of the season.

Canadian teams build towards the Scotties and Brier and now is the time to put up or shut up on the season. Leave your excuses on the bench and make the shots or see your season come to end sooner than you would prefer.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

#CanadianOpen Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Bracketology Battle in Battleford
The rings run red for the Canadian Open

"Red Rings. Red Rings. Red Rings."

If you go stand in your bathroom, lights off, look into the mirror and say the above three times in a row, a haunting image of Kevin Martin will look deep into your curling soul!

Ok so maybe that is just a curling urban legend (that I also may have just created right now) but the rings are about to run red for the annual Canadian Open, the third major of the Grand Slam of Curling season.

January brings cold, snow and grand slam curling action folks. And this is one of my favourite #gsoc events of the season.

Monday, 7 January 2019

#PowerRankings W19

#BetweenTheSheets: 1st Power Rankings of 2019
Who starts the year at the top and who is making the big moves?

Shuvo Nabo Barsho.
Xin Nian Kuai Le.
Onnellista Uutta Vuotta.
Bonne Annee.
Prosit Neujahr.
Felice Anno Nuovo.
S Novim Godom.
Gott Nytt Ar.
Sawadee Pee Mai.
Happy New Year.

Wherever you are from. Whatever your heritage background is. The language may be different but the message is the same. Happy New Year rock heads and stoners and welcome to 2019.

I hope you all had a great holiday season and were able to take some time surrounding yourselves with loved ones, great food, positive energy and deserving rest. As we head into January, #BellLetsTalk month, we must ensure we take care of ourselves and each other!

But all good things must come to an end right? Time to get back to work. Lets talk curling!

Thursday, 3 January 2019

#QMDC Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Lets Talk Mixed Doubles
Qualico Mixed Doubles Classic rings in 2019

Helllloooooo 2019! Bring on another calendar year of curling fun and excitement.

After the champagne has stopped bubbling and our New Year's Eve regrets become a distant memory, curling takes centre house once again. No rest for the wicked as they say as the 2018/19 curling season rolls on.

But while many people continue to focus on the men's and women's #wct and the anticipated lead-up to the Scotties and Brier, the #TwineTime blog wants to start 2019 shifting focus to the infant in the curling family: Mixed Doubles