Monday, February 05, 2007
spurs need to become hoosiers for 3 months
yesterday, before the nba games and the super bowl mania, i've watched 'hoosiers' with my
girlfriend and this an incredibly fantastic, brilliant movie.
since it's not so well-known in czecho-slovakia, you guys read following specifics (note: american
citizens, scroll down immediately):
(melo anthony got snubbed?!
that's very intriguing... like larry brown coming to detroit's arena and joe dumars snubbing him...
a leading scorer in this stats era isn't chosen?!
ah, there you are.
larry and joe-d have had some issues, right?
and didn't melo punched anybody?
it's a wonderful world.)
...they needed a second chance to finish first...
hoosiers is a 1986 movie about a small-town indiana high school basketball team that wins the
the film is set during the 1950's, when indiana still had only one state champion in basketball
regardless of school enrollment.
it stars gene hackman as a new coach with a spotty past, barbara hershey, sheb wooley and
dennis hopper as a basketball-loving drunk, a performance that brought hopper his only oscar
nomination to date for acting.
the movie was written by angelo pizzo, directed by david anspaugh and produced by carter
it was nominated for academy awards for best actor in a supporting role (hopper) and best music,
original score (jerry goldsmith).
hoosiers was recently the choice of the readers of usa today newspaper as the best sports movie
of all time.
in 2001 the united states library of congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it
for preservation in the national film registry.
a museum to commemorate the real life achievements of the 1954 milan team has been
the film is loosely based on the story of the 1954 indiana state champions, milan high school.
in most states, high school athletic teams were divided into different classes usually based on
enrollment, with separate state championship tournaments held for each classification.
at the time, indiana conducted a single state basketball championship for all schools and
continued to do so until 1997.
some elements of the film do match closely with those of milan's real story.
like the movie's hickory high school, milan was a very small high school in a rural indiana town,
although milan's enrollment of 73 boys exceeded hickory's total enrollment of 64.
both schools had undersized teams.
both hickory and milan won the state finals by two points: hickory won 42-40, and milan won
the final seconds of the hoosiers state final hold fairly closely to the details of milan's 1954 final;
the final shot in the movie was taken from virtually the same spot on the floor as bobby plump's
the movie's final game was even shot in the same building that hosted the 1954 indiana final,
butler university's hinkle fieldhouse (called butler fieldhouse in 1954) in indianapolis.
the rosters - in the movie, hickory has nine players at most and has a roster as small as six; milan
had a roster consisting of 10 players.
(of the 73 boys who were enrolled at milan high in 1953-54, 58 tried out for the team.)
coaching controversy? - the controversy surrounding the coach and his methods, an important
element of the movie's story, was completely absent in milan - at least by 1954.
milan had fired its previous coach, herman "snort" grinstead, after the 1951-52 season for
ordering new uniforms against the superintendent's orders.
years later, plump would tell an espn interviewer that grinstead had been *the most popular
coach in milan's history*.
while grinstead's successor, marvin wood, would initially make some waves in milan, he was
never the target of a town meeting to have him fired (unlike the movie).
in his first season as coach in 1952-53, he would lead milan to the state semifinals, defusing any
town drunk - the town drunk character in the movie, nicknamed shooter, is briefly hickory's
he has no milan counterpart.
the previous coach - in the movie, hickory's best player initially refuses to play, devastated by the
sudden death of his previous coach.
this has no parallel in the milan story; as noted above, milan's previous coach had been fired two
years before their championship.
the manager - hickory's manager, ollie mcclellan, plays in one game when the huskers have no
other players left, and sinks two free throws (granny-style) to win a key game.
milan had a manager with a similar name, oliver jones, but he never played.
underdog status - hickory is depicted as a massive underdog throughout the movie.
milan entered the 1953-54 season as one of the favorites to win the state title, as it returned four
starters from the state semifinalists of 1952-53.
close tournament finishes - in the movie, hickory wins each of its tournament games by two points
in 1954, milan won seven of its eight tournament games leading up to the final by double-digit
margins, and the other by 8 points.
head coaches - wood, who died of bone cancer in 1999, could hardly have been more different
from hickory coach norman dale (the gene hackman character).
dale is a middle-aged former college coach with a shady past and a volatile temper and had a
romantic relationship with a fellow hickory teacher.
wood was only 26, and married with two children, when milan won the state title and had
coached the indians to the 1953 state semifinals.
by almost all reports, wood was a soft-spoken man of high integrity who often practiced alongside
the championship game - in the state championship scene, the movie portrays muncie central
(south bend central in the movie; milan had lost to south bend central in the 1953 state
semifinals) as a predominantly black team.
the real muncie central was a predominantly white team with three black members.
the movie probably borrowed from the actual history of the 1954 state quarterfinals, in which
milan defeated the segregated crispus attucks high school in indianapolis led by all-time great
oscar robertson, then a sophomore.
in the movie the muncie/south bend coach is played by ray crowe, who coached crispus attucks in
1954 and would lead the team the next year, 1955, to become the first all-black team to win the
the attucks team, with crowe as coach and robertson as floor leader, would repeat as state
champions in 1956.
the fact that the movie's south bend central team was mostly black and that it makes poor
decisions in the last minute of the title game was criticized by spike lee, who felt the end of the
movie catered to racial stereotypes.
there were other connections between the movie and real life.
the announcer of the championship game in the movie was hilliard gates, whose voice was
familiar to indiana high school basketball fans of the 1950s and 60s.
the legendary announcer tom carnegie played the role of the public address announcer during the
final championship game at hinkle fieldhouse.
milan's senior guard ray craft also has a role in the film, welcoming the huskers to butler
fieldhouse as they get off the bus for the championship game.
distributed by orion pictures; release date - november 14, 1986; running time - 115 min.
if only for that underdog status (see funs-wavs mania) in this yr's playoffs, the spurs need to be
cos they won it all.
btw, greetings from houston... a land of the 2007 nba champion... (more in my next blog)
p.s.: red auerbach picked the perfect year to leave.
i couldn't be more delighted that he's missing this crappy season.
thank god he's not here - that would make this ongoing debacle 10 times worse. (-bill simmons)
p.s.2: what happens when kobe's seething coincides with a matchup against the pitiful celtics?
that banging noise you heard coming from the south?
that was bill simmons banging his head against the wall of his miami hotel room. (-bomani jones)
p.s.3: throwing the rock into ziggy ilgauskas was like throwing it out of the window. (-charley
Posted by Foreigner in CS - Feb 5 2007 3:09PM
Posted by Luke_Mellow at 3:09 PM