Seeing Red: Sunshine and Sports

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Sports Editor Erin Redmond sports her Chicago Blackhawks sweater during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals. 

It’s June and that marks the start of my favorite season: summer.
Since I was a wee tot, summer was something I looked forward to all year. School is out, my birthday is around the corner and my native Chicagoans emerge from hibernation, glowing as blindingly white as the snow that recently melted.
Above all, my favorite reason for summer is the plethora of sports. This weekend, the summer sports season officially kicks off and I’ve got a full rundown for you.
WARRIORS READY FOR WAR
We begin with the Golden State Warriors taking on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavilers in the NBA Championship Finals.
Not only does this series feature two of the league’s biggest stars—James and the Warriors’ Stephen Curry—but it also marks the end of the NBA’s longest Finals drought. It’s been 40 years—yep, I said 40—since the Warriors were in a position to hoist the championship trophy. In fact, the last time they were in the Finals in 1975, the trophy was still named the Walter A. Brown Trophy and looked more like the Stanley Cup than the modern day Larry O’Brien Trophy.
To say this is huge is an understatement. We have a chance to witness the NBA title return to the Bay Area for the first time in four decades. It won’t be easy as the Warriors take on James, who is making his fifth straight Finals appearance, and a hot Cleveland Cavaliers team.
Speaking of hot, Curry and the Warriors have been en fuego. Curry is averaging 33.8 points per game and Golden State easily put away the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals, including the 35-point blowout in Game 3.
The series starts tonight at 6 p.m. on ABC. Game 2 airs at 5 p.m. Sunday. 
THE NOT-SO-FRIENDLY “GHOST”
On Saturday, Gilroy-native Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero returns to the ring for his second fight in three months. He’ll take on Aron Martinez at noon at the StubHub Center in Carson. The fight will be broadcast live as part of the “PBC on NBC” series.
Guerrero is looking to rebound from his unanimous decision loss to Keith Thurman on March 7.
While he’s fighting a relatively unknown opponent in Martinez, Guerrero said he’s not taking him lightly. A win is always important, he said, but more so now more than ever. Losing two in a row would no doubt spark the retirement discussions and Guerrero said he’s not ready to hang the gloves up just yet.
When questioned about returning to the ring so quickly after a “brutal” fight to Thurman during a media call Tuesday, Guerrero laughed.
“For me the fight wasn’t even that brutal,” he said. “It might’ve been brutal for Thurman, but I was just getting started during the end.”
For boxing fans, free fights are a treat—especially given the $100 price tag for the “Fight of the Century” a couple weeks ago. Plus, this free event features Gilroy’s hometown boxer on the national stage. Does it get any better than that?
HORSES AND HOCKEY
Need another excuse not to get off the couch on Saturday? I’ll give you two more, so get comfy.
The Belmont Stakes is on immediately after Guerrero’s fight on NBC. Not excited about horse racing? Well how do you feel about watching history in the making?
American Pharaoh, winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, looks to be the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.
We’ve been close in recent years, seeing horses I’ll Have Another and California Chrome win the first two legs in 2012 and 2014, respectively, only to fall short at Belmont.
Race coverage starts at 1:30 p.m. I recommend having some tea close by in case you’re feeling a little hoarse after yelling at your TV.
Speaking of yelling, if you hear screams echoing throughout Gilroy around 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, please don’t call the Gilroy PD. That’s just yours truly watching Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
While it’s not the Sharks, I have a feeling hockey fans won’t be disappointed watching the Chicago Blackhawks try to get past the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Blackhawks are looking to raise Lord Stanley’s Cup for the third time in five years. Tampa Bay on the other hand haven’t won since 2004 and that was the first since the team was founded in 1992. I’ll bet the Lightning are pretty thirsty by now.
Need more reasons to tune in? Similar to the NBA Finals, the league’s best and brightest players—Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith (I can keep going) along with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov will clash both literally and figuratively on hockey’s biggest stage.
AND SO MUCH MORE
The Giants and A’s are in full swing and you can catch both playing this weekend. San Francisco will play at the Phillies Friday through Sunday. Oakland is also on the road, playing at Boston for a three-game set.
I’m sure there’s other televised sports action, but that’s why we can thank our lucky stars for “TV Guide”.
Want to get off the couch? The weather is starting to heat up and the days are getting longer. There’s no shortage of things to do outside, either. Our local softball leagues are in action if you want to go cheer on familiar faces, or your can always round up the gang to play a game.
Lastly, if you want some real entertainment and a guaranteed laugh, head up to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on June 13. I will attempt to run my first 5K at this year’s Bubble Run with the Freelance’s Katie Helland. If you see a woman resembling a tomato crossing the finish line, you’ll know I’ve made it.

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