If you asked any sports fan to compile a list of their favorite sports-themed movies, it’s probably a fair guess that "Hoosiers" would make many top 10s. Based on the true story of a tiny Indiana school that miraculously captures a state title, it’s a classic story of an underdog team rising to the top.
Right now, they’re not many heroes in the small Indiana town of Medora. That doesn’t mean there’s not a story be told there – as The New York Times did well Friday – or, seemingly, a motion picture in waiting.
To sum up: Medora is a town that’s going nowhere, with a high school boys’ basketball team that’s already there. The Hornets, with a new head coach just out of college, finished 0-22 last season, and to say they got blown out in some of their contests is an understatement. The prospects for this year don’t look a heck of a lot better.
In Medora, the school and the surrounding community aren’t so greedy that they want a bundle of victories and – glory of glories- a state championship. They’d love to win a single game – but if they can’t manage that, they’re hoping for victories in the game of life.
Can you feel the feel-good sports drama here? Let me construct it for you a little more: Young coach, in his first role as a mentor of student-athletes. The student-athletes, so accustomed to losing on the court and off, in a struggling town is suffering economically and life has become all-too-oftem about mere survival. Without knowing anything of the individual personalities involved, there’s bound to be multiple stories to be told in all of this.
Granted, a film could – like some sports rags-to-riches type tales, become heavy-handed. The effect could be moving, or end up being as subtle as a kick in the gut. But given the right directorial touch, and the right performances … well, I know I’d watch it, and I bet many others would, too.
Right now – on the surface, anyway – there’s not much in Medora, Ind., worth celebrating. But life isn’t always a celebration, right? And, at times when it may seem like there’s nothing at all worth being thankful for, isn’t a common impulse to stop and give thanks for life itself? That, to me, is the essence of this story.
Come to think of it, the movie could come out on Thanksgiving weekend.