Hoosiers is the best sports film ever.  Period. End of discussion.  The themes of redemption, reconciliation and restoration shine through almost every scene.  If you haven’t seen it, stop reading this blog and watch it right now.  If you’ve seen it, watch it again.  It’s that good. Hoosiers is a 1986 sports film about a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that wins the state championship. The story is set during 1951/1952, when all high schools in Indiana, regardless of size, competed in one state championship tournament. It is loosely based on the Milan High School team that won the 1954 state championship.

The film is the triumphant tale of a high school basketball team’s long-shot attempt to go from worst to first and is filled with edge-of your seat suspense, breathless excitement and heart-felt performances by Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hooper. Hoosiers is said to have redefined the sports movie with a realism and frankness that make you believe in this small town team and the small-town characters – and cheer for them over and over again.

Hackman is Norman Dale, a basketball coach whose checkered past has led him to a last-chance position with a last chance team.  Made to feel unwelcome by squad members, an icy fellow teacher and the townspeople, who nearly have him fired, Dale perseveres with a gritty demeanor and an unwavering passion for the game. But winning over the team is only half the battle in a world where small town-teams can end up playing big-time rivals . . . and a downtrodden outsider can rouse the pride of an entire county.

Overcoming, fighting through hurt, pain and the past are themes we all deal with, regardless of race, sex, creed, color or station in life.  For all those who need and want a second chance, this movie is for you.  If you don’t feel that you or someone else deserves a second chance, this film is also for you. If you don’t want to give someone a second chance, this film is for you too.

God is the God of second chances.  And the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is proof-positive that God loves us and has given all who want and need a second chance one more shot.

What do you think?


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