The entire 2021 NCAA Tournament is played in the state of Indiana, a state where basketball is a way of life. So it’s natural to think of the movie “Hoosiers”, right?
What a great movie. And what better way to celebrate a great basketball movie in the state of Indiana than to rank the best quotes from the movie? I’ve done similar things before, for “Major League,” “Bull Durham,” “The Sandlot,” and “A League of Their Own,” and those lists have been well received, so let’s dive into “Hoosiers.”
And, yes, there are only 13 quotes / scenes here. Some of your favorites probably didn’t make the cut, and for that, I apologize. The list could have been expanded to 30 and we would not have run out of good lines.
NCAA SUPPORT PICK: DeCourcy (Gonzaga) | Bender (Illinois) | Fagan (Gonzaga)
Startup: Dale enters Hickory High for the first time. He’s looking for Cletus Summers, the man who hired Dale as his new basketball coach. Dale isn’t sure where to go, so he stops one of the teachers on the steps. It’s Myra Fleener.
Myra: “Aren’t you the new coach?”
Give him: “Did you expect someone different?”
Give him: “Sorry to disappoint you.”
Why is it the best: Welcome to Hickory, coach. Outsiders aren’t exactly welcome.
12. “I’m not a gizzard.”
Startup: Moments earlier, Dale ended the days of coaching George, the interim coach. As he introduces himself, one of the players, Buddy, keeps talking to another player, Whit. Dale doesn’t like this, and after Buddy is enraged, Dale takes him off the team.
Buddy: “You’re breaking my heart. Come on, Whit. Let’s blow up this chicken coop. “
(Buddy leaves, but Whit stays where he is).
Buddy: “Let’s move, Gizzard.”
Whit: “I’m not a gizzard.”
Why is it the best: I mean, who wants to be known as a gizzard? Also, what is a gizzard?
11. “Thank goodness!”
Startup: Hickory’s team runs out of the locker room and onto the court. All except Strap, who is kneeling in prayer (as he always does). Coach Dale tells Ollie that if Strap doesn’t finish before the tip, he will have to play. When players break up the group to start the game, Strap runs out.
Ollie: “Thank goodness!”
Why is it the best: Poor Ollie. Your time will come, boy.
10. “My team is on the court.”
Startup: Dale has issued a pregame decree that echoes his practice philosophy: move the ball and no shots before at least four passes are made. Well, the game doesn’t start out so well, as the lack of shooting leads to a lack of scoring and Hickory is left behind early. Rade, one of the players, decides that enough is enough. Start shooting and scoring. So, Dale takes him out and puts the only other player on the six-man roster, Ollie. Later in the game, Merle fouls and Rade jumps to enter the game.
Give him: “Where are you going?”
Rade: “In the game.”
Give him: “Sit down.”
Rade: “What do you mean? We have to have five out there. “
Give him: “Sit down. Feel!”
Ref: “Coach, you need one more.”
Give him: “My team is on the court.”
Why is it the best: It’s my way or the highway for Coach Dale’s team. However, the best part of the scene might be the reactions. The referee looks at Dale and says, “Okay!” like, “It’s your funeral, buddy.” And Cletus just shakes his head and says, “What are you trying to do?”
9. “The gods are pretty cheap these days, aren’t they?”
Startup: Jimmy Chitwood, obviously, is the best basketball player in the area. He’s not on the team and the teacher, Myra Fleener, doesn’t want basketball to take over Jimmy’s life.
Myra: “I don’t want this to be the highlight of your life. I’ve seen them, the really sad ones. They sit for the rest of their lives talking about their glory days, when they were 17. “
Dale: “You know, most people would kill to be treated like a god, just for a few moments.”
Myra: “The gods are pretty cheap these days, right? I mean, you become one by passing a leather ball through an iron ring. And I hate to tell you this, Mr. Dale, but it’s just a game. ”
Why is it the best: About a minute later, to drive home his points, Fleener adds this trick: “Just stay away from Jimmy. I don’t want him to train at Hickory when I’m 50. “Oh, teach me. Hard.
8. ‘I play, the coach stays. He goes, I go.
Startup: Coach Dale stayed away from Jimmy. He told him that he didn’t care if he played for the team, in fact. But the townspeople are not happy and are gathering to vote whether to remove Dale as Hickory’s coach. The vote has already taken place, and the people leading the meeting are counting the ballots when Jimmy walks in. All eyes are on him as he walks to the front of the packed room. He turns around and looks nervously at the crowd.
Jimmy: “I don’t know if he will make any changes, but I think it’s about time he started playing.”
(The crowd erupts in applause.)
George: “I already told you! Once we get rid of it! “
Jimmy: “Another thing. I play, the coach stays. He goes, I go. “
Why is it the best: The expression on George’s face is almost perfect, when he realizes what is about to happen. He announced the result of the vote: Dale is ousted, 68-45, but the vote is again and Dale is overwhelmingly retained.
7. “Make it good, Strap.”
Startup: Ollie is on the free throw line with the playoff game on the line. Dale is giving instructions for after he takes his second free throw: “And you will take your second throw.” – and everyone puts their hands together to form a “team”! Strap grabs Ollie’s hand, from across the bench, and begins to pray. He’s preventing the rest of the team from running onto the court. Dale, who is as agnostic a person as you would find in Indiana in that movie, gives him a moment to finish.
Give him: “Make it good, Strap.”
Why is it the best: Spoiler: It was good.
6. “Put the ball down, will you George?”
Startup: Dale enters the gym for his first coaching practice. George Walker, a local resident and great basketball fan, runs the practice, as he had done in the absence of a head coach. Suggest a practice strategy that doesn’t sit well with Dale.
Dale: “First of all, let’s be really friendly here, okay? My name is Norm. Second, your coaching days are over. “
George: “Look, sir, there are two types of fools: a guy who strips naked and runs out into the snow and barks at the moon, and a guy who does the same thing in my living room. The first does not matter. The second, well, you’re bound to deal with it. “
Give him: “Translate. Is that some kind of threat? ”
George: “I don’t know why Cletus drugged your tired old bones here. He must have owed you something fierce. The fact is, sir, you start to ruin this team and I will personally tie your ass to a pine railing and send you down the line. “
Give him: “Put the ball down, will you, George? Thanks.”
Why is it the best: Much has been accomplished in this scene, plot-wise. First, any pretense of subtlety from the locals quickly disappears. In less than a minute, Walker goes from offering practice suggestions to threatening to “tie Dale’s butt” to a pine railing. To which Dale, who already knew what was going on, politely asks for the basketball (great Hackman delivery). It is your team and you are doing things your way. Now we know.
5. “It was Dentyne.”
Startup: Hickory is in trouble. The playoff game threatens to slip away. Dale turns to one of his players and says, “Buddy, 41 is killing us. Just killing us. Stay with him! I mean, think about chewing gum. At the end of the game, I want to know what it tastes like, okay? “Cut to a few minutes later …
Buddy: “It was Dentyne.”
Why is it the best: How good is that? It was Dentyne. And it’s another W for Hickory.
4. “We are past the time for the great speeches.”
Startup: Hickory’s team is about to enter the court for the state title game. The team is in the locker room. Dale gives some game notes, then becomes introspective.
Dale: “We are past the time for great speeches. I want to thank you for the last few months. It has been very special for me. Does anyone have something to say?
Merle: “Yeah, let’s win this for all the little schools that never got a chance to get here.”
Everett: “I want to win for my dad.”
Buddy: “We are going to win for the coach, who brought us here.”
(The preacher delivers a pregame prayer. Then a story about David and Goliath. The team stands up and everyone puts their hands in the middle of the circle).
Give him: “I love you guys.”
Why is it the best: Shaking chills. The tranquility before the madness. The moment of reflection. A scene like this could easily have gotten cheesy, but that didn’t happen.
3. ‘The sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s ass every day …’
Startup: Dale walks the streets of downtown Hickory when he offers to help lift a heavy bag onto the truck of Myra Fleener’s mother, Opal.
Opal: “The sun doesn’t shine on the same dog’s ass every day, but sir, he hasn’t seen a ray of light since he got here. I think it’s time for us to talk. Sunday. Dinner.”
Why is it the best: It’s the best line in the movie. At least the best one-line sentence that doesn’t get better with a moment of drama.
2. ’10 feet ‘.
Startup: Hickory’s team enters the arena where they will play the state title game (Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse), and it’s huge compared to the small gyms players are used to. Dale has a tape measure.
Say: “Dude, hold this under the dash. What is it?”
Friend: “15 feet”.
Give him: “15 feet.”
(Walk under the edge)
Give him: “Strap, put Ollie on your shoulders. Measure this from the edge. Companion? How far?”
Buddy: “Ten feet.”
Give him: “Ten feet. I think you will find the exact same measurements as our gym at Hickory. Let’s get dressed for practice. “
Why is it the best: The whole scene is perfect.
1. ‘I’ll make it.’
Startup: The championship game comes down to the final seconds. Hickory has fought to the end and has a chance to win the game. The camera zooms in on the group.
Give him: “Okay, listen. Listen! This is what we will do. Jimmy, they’re going to wait for you to make the last shot. We will use you as a decoy. Dude, take the ball and take it to Merle on the fence. He is going to make the last shot. Okay let’s go!”
Give him: “What’s wrong with you? What’s the matter with you?”
Jimmy: “I will.”
Why is it the best: The trust! The bravado! The belief in yourself! How many times have we said to ourselves “I’ll make it” when the ball is in our hands? Unfortunately, most of us are not Jimmy Chitwood.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.