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Indiana sports, legend and lore

"HOOSIERS"
Release date: Nov, 14, 1986
Opening weekend gross: $220,068
Total gross: $28,607,524
Cast: Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey, Dennis Hopper, Maris Valainis
Director: David Anspaugh

Indianapolis plays host to Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, but here are a few other sports tidbits about the city.

* The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500, was built in 1909. The original purpose was to give automobile manufacturers a place to showcase cars to perspective buyers (video is embedded above).

* The film "Hoosiers" was based loosely on the Milan High School's 1954 Indiana state championship team. The final shot of the movie was taken from a similar location as Bobby Plump's real-life championship-clinching shot. The movie's final game was shot in the same building that hosted the 1954 Indiana final --Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse.

* Milan's semifinal win came against Indianapolis Crispus Attucks, which was led by sophomore guard Oscar Robertson. Robertson would lead his team to state titles in his junior and senior seasons.

* Milan was an underdog indeed, but they did not come out of nowhere as the film suggests. Milan reached the state semifinals at Hinkle the previous year.

*Bush Stadium, a former minor-league ballpark on the same road as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, was built in 1931. One of it's calling cards was ivy on the outfield walls and it is said to have been the inspiration for the ivy at Wrigley Field.

* Many of the baseball scenes for the film "Eight Men Out" were filmed at Bush Stadium.

*Indianapolis' Marvin Johnson won a bronze medal for boxing at the 1972 Olympics. In the pro ranks, he would become a three-time world light heavyweight champion.

* The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a 2.5 mile track. If you removed the straightaways, you would have a one-mile circle.

* Four holes of the Brickyard Crossing Golf Course are actually located inside the oval of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The course has hosted PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour events. Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have played the course.

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