Coach Norman Dale became Gene Hackmans comeback role, and Dennis Hopper earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Wilbur "Shooter" Flatch. "Hoosiers is told from a nostalgic distance, and those allergic to corniness might best be advised to stay home," wrote a reviewer for The Washington Post. "But what do you expect in a movie about Indiana Corn is what they make there. And the movies enormous craftsmanship accumulates till you're actually seduced into believing all its Pepperidge Farm buncombe."
Clearly, one man's corn can be another's inspiration. At sporting arenas around the country, it's not unusual for Jumbottons to play clips of Coach Dale firing up his Hickory Huskers with a pregame speech. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has been known to compare his management decisions to those of Hickory High's principal, Cletus. Last year, Ron Hunter, coach of the IUPUI Jaguars, made his team watch Hoosiers before taking on number-one seed Kentucky in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
But not everyone loves Hoosiers.