During a campaign rally Tuesday night, Sen. Ted Cruz was speaking to his supporters at Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, IN. Cruz, like any politician worth his salt, chose the gym made famous in the movie Hoosiers for what he hoped would be a magnificent photo opportunity.
Everything was going along just fine until the moment he tried to recreate one of the most memorable moments in the beloved film.
In the movie, Gene Hackman has a player measure the height of the basket to show that there's no difference between the court his small town team was used to playing on and the larger arena where the state tournament was taking place.
A man at one end of the court had already climbed a ladder and Cruz asked if he had a tape measure. He did and Cruz asked him to measure the height. Everyone in that gym knew where he was going with this, but to the uninitiated it wasn’t clear what point he was trying to make.
And then it happened. He referred to the hoop as a basketball ring. Oh my! In basketball vernacular, it was an airball.
It was truly cringe-worthy
No one has ever called it a "basketball ring" before Cruz just now in the history of basketball, politics, or words.— Luke O'Neil (@lukeoneil47) April 26, 2016
This evening, Donald Trump will appear at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with college basketball’s legendary Hall of Fame Head Coach Bobby Knight.
Knight has not returned to the state since his firing in 2000. He has held a grudge ever since that fateful day and famously said,
Knight ran a clean program having never been sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations and for graduating most of his players. He was no stranger to controversy; he famously threw a chair across the court during a game against Purdue in 1985, was arrested for assault, and regularly displayed a combative nature during encounters with members of the press.
I despise Bobby Knight. It would be sacrilege for me to feel any differently since I am a devout Duke Blue Devils fan. I root for the Carolina Tarheels except when they take the court against Duke. I also loved Jim Valvano, but then everybody loved Coach V.
Coach Knight remains the object of fanatical devotion from his former players and Indiana fans. His name still carries a lot of weight with Hoosier fans and Donald Trump, who enjoyed a 5-state sweep in Tuesday’s Acela Primary, is counting on that devotion to challenge Ted Cruz in next Tuesday’s Indiana presidential primary.
Cruz may need Jimmy Chitwood, Larry Bird, Damon Bailey, Steve Alford and Yogi Ferrell to pull off Indiana #hickory— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) April 26, 2016