Tomorrow isn’t just another beautiful summer Saturday, it is also Ferris Bueller Day — the 30th anniversary of the classic film’s release. In honor of this occasion, we thought you should start considering what day(s) this summer to use as a “sick” day to do something special for yourself. Like, say, go to a bar and watch sports and drink beer all day. Doesn’t that sound nice? Yes, it does.
This summer is particularly busy. We’ve got the Copa America Centenario, the biggest soccer tournament on U.S. soil since the ’94 World Cup as teams from North, Central and South America battle for hemispheric bragging rights. At the same time, Euro 2016 will be kicking off in the mornings, as the top European nations battle for the championship, an event that comes once every four years. Then there’s the Tour de France in July, the Summer Olympics in August, and oh yeah, I guess baseball’s still going on too.
We’ve sifted through all the noise to find the best five days this summer to call in sick and spend the day out on a patio, sipping a drink and discovering a deep passion you never knew you had for Belgian soccer, bicycle races and swimming. If you follow this, we can promise you will never go more than two full work weeks in a row without a day off all summer. In fact, you’ve got a choice to make for your very first sick day! (All times are in Eastern.)
Monday June 13: Remember, one flaw about calling in sick is you usually still have to get up early to make the call. Do it, and then make yourself a nice breakfast for the Spain-Czech Republic Euro match that kicks off at 9 a.m.. When that ends around 11, take the time to head to your favorite bar or patio for noon’s Ireland-Sweden match. You’ve waited until noon AND it’s an Ireland game, it’d be rude NOT to have a drink! Close out the afternoon with a 3 p.m. Belgium-Italy match. These are two of the top teams in Europe meeting for an early group game, and if you can get past the fact that Belgium knocked the U.S. out of the last World Cup, you’ll find plenty to hate in an Italian squad that dives like a flock of swans. If you haven’t had your fill of soccer yet, close out the bar, and the night, with an 8 p.m. Mexico-Venezuela Copa America Centenario game and, if you’re lucky, maybe an NBA final game. What a day! Now pace yourself, because summer’s just beginning (and if we’re being honest, you probably should go back to work tomorrow).
Friday, June 17: Like to start your three-day weekends early? This gives you a front-loaded three-day weekend, plus, if you know you’re going to take it off, the chance to work some extra hours Monday-Thursday to ensure you’re not missed when you come down with that awful “Summer Flu” that’s been going around. So what are you watching? Similar to Monday, it starts with soccer in the morning. Kick things off with a 9 a.m. Italy-Sweden match, but then ask the barkeep to switch to the U.S. Open golf championship. First cuts will have already happened, so you’ll have an idea of the early story lines, and golf is slow enough it should give you plenty of time to chat with the bartender and make yourself into a regular by day’s end — your wallet will be glad you did by the end of the summer. If baseball’s your slow, antiquated sport of choice, sure, there’s a Cubs-Pirates game on at 2:20.
Say hi to the suckers that come in for happy hour, then outlast them until 8, as that’s when a Copa America quarterfinal game kicks off that’s likely to be the U.S. against Brazil. There’s a good chance the U.S. gets smoked in this, but then again, crazier things have happened.
Regardless, it’s your last chance to see the U.S. Men’s National Team this summer in a meaningful game, and even when they’re kicking your ass, Brazil is a sight to watch.
Tuesday, July 12: Nobody suspects a Tuesday sick day. Call in, and then use your early wake-up to make sure you catch the Tour de France’s tenth stage, from Escaldes-Engordany to Revel. It’s a hilly section but comes after one of their two days of rest in the entire month-long race, so if there’s a day when the peloton can be said to be rested, it should be today and mean a close stage.
Now, it’s true, there are no games on in the afternoon, with the MLB All-Star Game on at night. But you watched the Home Run Derby the night before, right? Sure you did. So leave the bar, grab a bat and a couple canisters of tennis balls. You might not be able to hit a baseball out of the local high-school field anymore, but I bet you can wallop the hell out of some tennis balls. Spend your afternoon soaking up the sun with a little workout, and then pick up something to grill on the way home so you can fire that up with the All-Star game on in the background.
An alternate idea, if you don’t feel like recreating The Natural, is to go see some NFL training camp practices, if one’s nearby.
Friday, Aug. 5: Now you’re in the dog days of summer, when the heat’s intolerable, you’re sick of baseball, and you’ve gone so long without NFL football you’re starting to look forward to preseason games. Lucky for you, the Summer Olympics are this year!
Start your three-day weekend off with some 8 a.m. Men’s Archery — a very underrated sport to watch. For something with so little action, it’s riveting. Follow that up at 11 a.m. with the women, and when that’s over, leave the bar and take a nap. Wake up in time to hit the store for a case of beer and call your friends over for the official Opening Ceremony, where national stereotypes, your lack of geography knowledge and some ingenuity can create one hell of a drinking game. Also, you know, national pride. USA! USA! USA!
Thursday, Aug. 11: Olympics are in full swing, and the NFL returns with a full slate of meaningless games. Let’s go! Start the day off with some Men’s Handball at 8:30 a.m.. Make all the jokes about its name you want, handball is a fast, exciting, high-scoring sport that you’re going to watch and say, “Damn, if I’d known about that I would have been AWESOME at it!” At 11 you can switch the online-stream to tennis for some quarterfinal action, like basketball, professionals are allowed to compete in Olympic Tennis making this just as good as any major throughout the year. But don’t get too hooked, at noon you’ll want to see if Michael Phelps can turn back the clock and win yet another gold in the 100-meter butterfly.
Then at 3 p.m., you’ll want to see the Women’s Gymnastics All-Around Final to see if Gabby Douglas and the U.S. Women can repeat as gold medalists. Try yelling out loud to a women’s gymnastics final at a bar, you’ll find friends you never knew you were missing. After an afternoon full of nationalistic pride, head on home for a few NFL preseason games and start studying for your fantasy draft. Before you know it, hey, tomorrow’s Friday!
Friday, Aug. 19: This is it, so cherish it. Your final Ferris Bueller’d three-day weekend of the summer. After this, it’s just two weeks and then Labor Day, football season, and bosses beginning to ask “How do you have the Summer Flu in October?” Better make it count!
Start the day at 10 a.m. with a Men’s Basketball Olympic Semifinal. Whether the U.S. is in this game or the other one doesn’t matter, you’ll watch them both as the second one tips off at 2:30. But hopefully the U.S. plays in the early game or puts this one away by halftime, because at 4:30 p.m. is the Women’s Soccer gold medal match where the U.S. will hopefully be looking to defend their 2012 Gold. End the night with your choice: meaningless football in the form of three NFL preseason games, or pennant-race baseball, as there are 15 games starting at 7 p.m. Keep an eye on the Olympics though, as coverage for the Men’s and Women’s 4x100m relay begins at 7 with first-round races followed by a final later in the evening.
WHERE DID THAT SUMMER GO?! With less than two weeks until Labor Day, it’s gone. Time to start fighting the crowds at the Back To School sales and talking yourself into drafting Ryan Tannehill in the third round. It’s easy to feel like you’ve got all the time in the world at the beginning of the summer, but August comes fast. Take Ferris’ lesson to heart: