'Hoosiers' Director Says Key Scene Was 'Kind of Like Deflategate'


It turns out letting a little air out of the ball can lead to universally praised sports moments after all.

When it comes to the deflation of sports equipment most everyone will forever immediately remember the 2015 "Deflategate" controversy, with the NFL and Tom Brady battling over whether or not the quarterback intentionally let the air out of footballs. After millions in legal fees, a four-game suspension and the stripping of a Patriots' draft pick the whole scenario certainly didn't offer a feel-good vibe for sports fans.

There was, however, an iconic sports instance that was made possible because of the very same tactic Brady was accused of.

Appearing on "The Rich Eisen Show" David Anspaugh, the director of the movie "Hoosiers", admitted that there was a bit of equipment chicanery when it came to a pivotal scene involving Coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) and Jimmy Chitwood (Maris Valainis).

Chitwood -- the eventual star player for Hickory High -- could be seen hitting shot after shot while Dale offered his passive-aggressive recruiting speech, until the coach says, "I don't care if you play on the team or not." That's when Valainis, who never played high school basketball in real life, missed his only shot.

How did the scene come together? According to Anspaugh, it was a combination of really good shooting form and some of the same hijinks plenty of people in Indiana believe Brady was guilty of.

"In the master take that I had in my cut of the film until the studio made me cut to those close-ups he hit 15 in a row," the director told Eisen. "Literally, when he said I don’t care if you play or not and walked away he missed it. Dead on missed it. And not on purpose. I did not direct that.

"Here’s part of the trickery. You want to get into Game of throne or Alien or whatever. It’s kind of like Deflategate. It’s Deflategate. We took a little air out of the ball and loosened the rim slightly."