Today we forgo the QotD and instead reflect on the marvelous 1986 classic, “Hoosiers.”
This underdog masterpiece tells the story of a disgraced veteran coach, down on his luck, exiled to the tiny farm town of Hickory. There, he recruits a band of scrubs, and through a lot of tough love, Patton-esque speeches, and his best Bobby Knight impression, overcomes the odds to win it all against the larger schools in a basketball-crazed state.
What if I told you nearly everything about Hoosiers is a lie: Milan (Hickory) didn’t have to drag kids off the farm — boys were lining up to play. Jimmy Chitwood wasn’t a creepy hayseed — he was a smart, college-prep calibre player who went on scholarship at Butler and then played professional ball. Coach Marvin Wood (Gene Hackman’s Norman Dale) wasn’t a grizzled SOB who ran the team with an iron fist — he was a 24 year-old recent graduate of Butler who was known for his calm and assured demeanor and actually was more of a beloved big brother than tough dad figure. The team wasn’t full of aw-shucks yokels — nine out of ten went to college after graduation.
Milan didn’t even beat South Bend for the State title — in Woods’ first year as coach, Milan got blown out by South Bend.
And, there are so many other prevarications that Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper sold us.
Hollywood, you are built on a house of lies!