We've all wanted to be Ferris Bueller at some point in our lives. The lovable scamp got into such a glorious romp during 1986's Ferris Bueller's Day Off that everyone who ever watched it immediately began plotting how to bunk off from school, too. However, there's one element of the comedy that has been overlooked ever since it was released, and it revolves around the use of Gordie Howe's hockey jersey.
Cameron Frye, who was played by Alan Ruck in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, wears a Detroit Red Wings shirt that's emblazoned with Gordie Howe's name throughout the film. Which is kind of odd, considering that the movie is actually set in Chicago, and that the Red Wings are classed as the Chicago Blackhawks' biggest rivals.
While speaking to We Are Mel to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the classic film, Alan Ruck himself revealed that rather than being a simple homage to the man dubbed Mr Hockey, there was actually some deep characterization behind the use of the shirt. He said:
John [Hughes] had spent some of his boyhood in Detroit. [Hughes] had decided that Cameron had a horrible relationship with his father, but a great relationship with his grandfather, who lived in Detroit and would take Cameron to Red Wings games. That's all it was, and it was never explained in the movie.
Wow, is it just me or did Ferris Bueller's Day Off suddenly just become a lot more emotional? This revelation is all the more resonant because Gordie Howe sadly died at the age of 88 last Friday, just one day before he could celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's widely regarded that Gordie Howe was the best player to ever pick up a hockey stick, with his career lasting from 1946 all the way through until 1971. Which is just insane.
All of which means that you now have the perfect excuse to sit yourself down and watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off all over again. If you've never done so, you should frankly be depressed and ashamed, as it's arguably John Hughes magnum opus. That's saying something, because he was the genius behind Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Home Alone.
Obviously it will now be impossible to watch it without crying, though. Still, as mentioned earlier, the movie remains one of the all-time comedy greats, even with this revelation.