The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

The Sports Guy's Ferris Bueller Challenge

By Marcus Gilmer in Miscellaneous on Aug 28, 2009 6:00PM


We all know how iconic the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off is for the city of Chicago. The exploits of the potential felon truant student and his pals is a comedy we'll always remember, especially given the recent death of John Hughes. everything the trio did in a day really possible? One of our favorite sports columnists, ESPN's Bill Simmons aka The Sports Guy, posed that very question in his most recent mailbag.

Check out his challenge after the jump.

(And oh-by-the-way, the movie is showing tonight at midnight at The Music Box!)

Update: As a commenter points out below, it's been done by Chicago Magazine's Jeff Ruby!

Q: In light of John Hughes death (one of my favorites of all time) I ask you this obvious question about "Ferris Bueller's Day Off": How is it possible to fit so much into roughly an eight hour span? -- Mike, Columbia, Mo.

Simmons: ...So many readers asked me this that I almost felt obligated to figure it out until I remembered something: Realistically, Ferris and Cameron didn't pick up Sloane until somewhere between 9:30 and 10:15. They lived at least 25-30 minutes from downtown Chicago and returned home at about 6. We know this because Sloane looked at her watch right near the end. So that means in the span of slightly less than eight hours ...

They drove to Chicago; dropped off the car; visited the top of the Sears Tower as well the Stock Market; went to the Museum of Art long enough for Cameron to have a life epiphany; cabbed it over to the French restaurant; ate lunch at Abe Froman's table; headed over to Wrigley Field; attended an afternoon Cubs game long enough for the pizza guy to tell Ed Rooney that it was the third inning (and for Ferris to catch a foul ball); headed back to downtown Chicago; took part in a parade in which Ferris sang "Danke Schoen" on a giant float without having rehearsed it; picked up the car; drove home; hung out at Cameron's pool; spent at least 20-25 minutes trying to take the miles off Cameron's car and watched Cameron subsequently destroy his father's car and then tell them he'd take the heat for it (which always bothered me because no father would forgive something that creepy, and besides, unless his father was molesting him, how bad could he have been that you'd destroy a beautiful piece of machinery like that?); left Cameron's house so Ferris could walk Sloane home; then Ferris sprinted back to his house to make it in time for dinner.

Seems improbable, right? No way all of that stuff happens in less than 10 hours unless they basically made a two-inning cameo at the Cubs game and left. (Conceivable, by the way. How can you top catching a foul ball? And if Sloane hated baseball and pushed for them to leave after 2-3 innings, wouldn't the logical next stop for them -- if a girl who hated sports was running the show -- be that art museum?) But there's no way to know, which leads me to the following idea: Shouldn't three Chicago kids re-enact Ferris' entire day and see if they could pull it off in less than eight hours? Bring a couple of Flip cameras, tape everything, see if you can do it and stick the results on YouTube. John Hughes would be proud.

Can it be done? We think so, Chicago. If you're brave enough, try it and let us know. We'll even run the best video here on the site and doing everything in our power - which admittedly isn't much - to help you get Bill's attention.