With the Final Four beginning tomorrow here in Indianapolis, featuring local team Butler, the “Hoosiers” metaphors are going to be hot and heavy on CBS tomorrow. Expect to hear all about Bobby Plump until you curse Jimmy Chitwood’s name.
Anyway, there are an inordinate number of sports movies featuring Indiana teams. Which is your favorite?
Hoosiers: Based on the true story of tiny Milan High School as they make an unprecedented run to win the Indiana High School Basketball Title. (Back then, there weren’t classes in high school sports dividing the competition up by school size, and the tourney was winner-takes-all.)
Rudy: Follows (loosely) the trials and tribulations of Daniel “Rudy” Ruttiger as he attempts to walk on the Notre Dame football team.
Breaking Away: A Bloomington, Indiana kid wants to win the big annual bike race (the Little 500), competing against entire teams that train year round, helped only by Rorscharch and Dennis Quaid.
A League of Their Own: Okay - not exactly an Indiana team, but there were some teams based in Indiana, and it was filmed in Indiana.
I voted* Breaking Away*. In addition to everything else the movie has going for it, it has a fine performance by Paul Dooley as the dad. “I know I-tey food when I hear it! It’s all them ‘eenie’ foods… zucchini… and linguine… and fettuccine. I want some American food, dammit! I want French fries!”
Paul Dooley is a fellow native West-by-God-Virginian. And WVU is playing Duke tomorrow in the Final Four. In Indiana. Let’s go-o-o-o-o-o, Mountaine-e-e-e-e-rs! (Oh, and my sister did her Ph.D. at IU, which has one of the most beautiful campuses EVAR.)
Growing up in Indiana from the sixties through the early eighties, we really took HS basketball that seriously. My dad actually remembers the game that the movie was based upon (although what they don’t tell you is that Milan had been in the semi-finals before).
I remember seeing Breaking Away when I was about six or seven on TV…it made me so want to go to Indiana University when I grew up…it looked so much more interesting than my corner of the Midwest (northeastern Wisconsin!). Unfortunately, I had to vote for Hoosiers simply because there ain’t a better sports movie, period, in my book.