Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is not going to win many votes for his grasp of sports terminology. Cruz was in Knightstown, Indiana Tuesday night to try and bolster his support ahead of the state’s May 3 primary, which could be crucial in the overall race, and he decided to try and channel a little “Hoosiers” magic with a rally in the gym where many of that movie’s scenes were filmed. He even tried to copy the speech Coach Dale (Gene Hackman) gave (although that was actually in Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse), about how the distance to the foul line and to the rim was the same in the big arena as it was in their gym back home. Of course, it might have helped if Cruz had looked up what basketball hoops are called:
— Daniel Altman (@dbaltman) April 26, 2016
“The amazing thing is, that basketball ring, it’s the same height in Indiana as it is in New York City and every other place in this country.” Basketball ring, really? Yes, technically it is a ring, and it is used in basketball, but man, Ted, if there was one place not to mess up a basketball reference, it would be Indiana. (Don’t try and use your Canadian birth as an excuse, either; basketball inventor James Naismith was from Canada!) This isn’t even the best way to have a basketball rally go wrong in Indiana. It sure looks like the crowd’s pretty stunned at this point, too, and it’s probably a good thing Bobby Knight already decided to endorse Trump. Of course, this led to plenty of backlash on Twitter:
Ted Cruz's basketball misnomer may be the most odious political thing I've seen since Mike Dukakis decided to play grown up in a tank.
— Erik (@gothlaw) April 27, 2016
— Lewis Stuhl (@LewStuhl) April 27, 2016
my favorite part of "hoosiers" was when they destroyed the basketball ring in the basketball fires of basketball mount doom
— Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) April 27, 2016
tbh “basketball ring“ sounds like something an alien pretending to be a human in a bad comedy tv show would say
— J.R. Lind (@jrlind) April 27, 2016
That latter point seems apt. Are we sure that Cruz isn’t really an alien running for president?
As long as there’s an option to vote for Kodos, we’re probably fine.