During a rally in the Indiana gym where Hoosiers was filmed, Ted Cruz played to the locals by referring to one of the most memorable scenes from the classic basketball movie. Unfortunately for Cruz, he botched it.
"The amazing thing is, that basketball ring here in Indiana, it's the same height as it is New York City and every other place in this country," Cruz said Tuesday in Knightstown, Indiana.
Most people call it a hoop. Those who don't might refer to it as a rim.
As you might suspect, Cruz got hammered for his word choice.
Cruz: "Boys, we're going to win this election by running the ol' chain-link fence play." https://t.co/6IuB8nIRoP
— Jack McCallum (@McCallum12) April 27, 2016
...Ted Cruz thinks Bob Knight threw a table pic.twitter.com/Vq532DDbjL
— BTown's DJ Unique (@IUDJUnique) April 27, 2016
In Cruz's defense, his use of ring might be technically correct, according to the NBA rulebook:
But there is a huge difference between citing specific language in reference material and failing to know enough to connect with the very audience you're trying to woo.
Imagine how some other great basketball movies would've been titled, based on Cruz's usage:
As we have reported, there have been notable sports gaffes on the campaign trail. Democratic candidate John Kerry said to a Michigan crowd in 2004, "I just go for Buckeye football, that's where I'm coming from."
After being booed, Kerry realized he had crossed state lines for his latest appearance.
"But that was while I was in Ohio," Kerry said. "I know I'm in the state of Michigan and you got a great big M and a powerhouse of a team."
With Cruz, the other puzzling part of his Hoosiers stunt was the reference to the rims in Indiana being the same height in New York City. That's hardly a positive association after Cruz was crushed in the New York primary last week.