Summer Guide 2016


Summer crackles with Sharks, Warriors in pursuit of hardware.

Introduction | Concerts | Art | Stage | Movies | Sports | Festivals | Outdoors | Wineries

SPLASHY: Stephen Curry leads the way as the Warriors try to repeat. Photo by Noah Graham, NBA Photos

For some, the warm weather is a chance to relive glory days. But why break a sweat when you can crack open a cold one and let the pros do the work?

Summer 2016 is shaping up to be a great year for Bay Area sports fans. The Warriors are working toward their second-straight NBA title, while the Sharks might just take home the Stanley Cup for the first time ever (fingers and toes crossed). Plus, Giants fans are acutely aware that 2016 is an #EvenYear.

Then there's the Olympics in Rio and even soccer fans will feel the love as Avaya Stadium hosts the MLS All Star Game. Meanwhile, Levi's Stadium will be a key venue for Copa America matches.

So, grab a few beers, belly up to the bar and root for the home team(s).

Sharks still skating, deep into the summer
How quickly jubilation can turn to anxiety. After the Sharks stunned the Los Angeles Kings in five games to move to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the job looked to be done. San Jose outperformed its expectations and was playing with house money, making an appearance in the second round for the first time since 2013.

Then the Nashville Predators took down the Anaheim Ducks in seven games. Suddenly, the Sharks needed to win again to avoid the embarrassment of losing to a lesser opponent.

If you've lived in or near the fair city of San Jose long enough, you know the Sharks have somewhat of a reputation; not a good one, either.

Losing to the Predators would have given the Sharks that old "choker" label right back, affixed to the front of their jerseys, right under the snazzy 25th anniversary patch.

So, San Jose's Game 7 dismantling of the Predators provided an equal mix of excitement, joy and, yes, relief. Loving the Sharks means praying they avoid disaster as much as it means dreaming they might win.

Now the team sits just four wins away from the Stanley Cup Finals. San Jose has never reached the Stanley Cup but it has reached Western Conference finals three times—what, you want to know the results? They weren't pretty. Suffice to say, no one beats their chest about the 2010 series against the Chicago Blackhawks or the 2011 set against the Vancouver Canucks. Most probasbly don't remember the 2004 series against the Calgary Flames.

But the past holds no bearing on the future.

San Jose won't be favored to beat the St. Louis Blues, but perhaps that's exactly what the Sharks need. After years of fans and media calling them the presumptive Stanley Cup favorites, San Jose heads to St. Louis as the underdog. Or undershark, I guess.

Optimism isn't a feeling Sharks fans find comfortable, but San Jose's incredible tilt against the Predators bodes well, as the boys in teal enter a series against a team with its own history of coming up short. San Jose and St. Louis offer eerily similar playoff pasts, meaning one of the two will exorcise some demons and the others will go back to doing the same old.

Without the burden of expectations, can Joe Pavelski and company bring home a championship to Silicon Valley? Let's hope we have a lot of summer to find out. —Jacob Sundstrom

The Golden State Warriors Title Run
Official watch parties hosted at The Continental, San Jose
Stephen Curry is a revelation. The point guard uncorks bombs from 30 feet, weaves through defenses with yo-yo dribbles and dishes dimes with his off-hand into the chest of a teammate 30 feet down the floor. Draymond Green possess the quintessential modern big man skills. And Klay Thompson beat Curry to win the 3-point contest at this year's All-Star game. After snagging last year's championship and breaking the regular season record for wins, this run could establish the squad as a dynasty. (JF)

Copa Americana Centennial Tournament | June 3, 6, 13, 18
Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara
When you build a big stadium, you host big events. On June 3, the 100th Copa Americana will kick off as the United States take the field against Colombia. On June 6, Levi's will host the top-seeded squad in the Western Hemisphere, Argentina, which features international superstars Javier Mascherano, Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi. The tournament has a direct effect on World Cup rankings and should be the finest display of soccer to stop around these parts for years to come. (JF)

MLS All-Star Game | June 28
Avaya Stadium, San Jose, 6pm
Since it's the fifth biggest sport in the country, the MLS ranks in the second-tier of international soccer leagues. But assemble a squad of athletic Americans with seasoned imported superstars and the association's best can rival anyone. This year, the MLS all-stars take on Arsenal, a perennial contender for the lauded English Premier League. Rumor has it the club fully committed when players realized they could sip a pint after the game from the longest outdoor bar in North America. (JF)

San Jose Spiders Ultimate Frisbee Team | May 29 and June 11, 18, 25
Foothill College Stadium
There's an alluring contrast to the pace of Ultimate Frisbee. The disc traces a loping arc between sprinting teammates, who herk and jerk their way to the goal. San Jose boasts the repeating champions of the last two seasons in the American Ultimate Disc league. This season, they're off to a rough start at 1-3, but there's plenty of time to watch them make a late season run for the top spot. (JF)

San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy | Jun 25
Stanford Stadium, Palo Alto, 7:00pm, $20+
At the turn of the century, the San Jose Earthquakes captured two MLS titles captained by the shifty brilliance of Landon Donovan. Since the superstar departed, it's been a rockier road. But now, led by national team member Chris Wondolowski, the Quakes hope to ride his scrappy savvy to a place of prominence once again. They'll face off against their long-time rivals, the LA Galaxy, in the annually hotly anticipated matchup, the California Clasico. (JF) —John Flynn

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