The Replacements


From IMDb:  A comedy based on the 1987 professional football players’ strike. Gene Hackman plays the coach of the team, Jack Warden is the owner, Brett Cullen is the All-Pro quarterback that goes on strike and Keanu Reeves is the “scab” who replaces the star QB. Written by Anonymous

When the NFL football team, the Washington Sentinels, goes on strike, the team’s owner, Edward O’Neill, calls former NFL coach Jimmy McGinty out of retirement to coach a rag-tag team of replacement players to finish the season’s last four games in which McGinty turns to former Ohio State player Shane Falco to be the team’s captain for the duration of the season and Falco is forced to shape up the misfit players whom include convenience store guard Clifford Franklin, gangster rapper brothers Andre and Jamal Jackson, former sumo wrestler Jumbo Fumkio, a Welsh “football” player called “The Leg”, a deaf player, a convict on a work-release program, a tough SWAT leader, and many more while, at the same time, Falco strikes up a possible romance with the team’s cheerleading captain Annabelle Farrell. Written by Matthew Patay


The sport psychology constructs of anxiety and attention (i.e., concentration) both feature prominently in the football film “The Replacements”.   The main purpose of this paper is to explain the behavior of the  film’s major character in light of the arousal-performance, choking, and attention models we discuss in class.  This paper is due by

Text Reference Chapters:

Ch. 4 – Arousal, Stress & Anxiety (Stress will be covered in Murderball)

Ch. 16 – Concentration

Key Points:

  1. Decide which of the arousal-performance models discussed in class best explains Falco’s behavior (i.e., performance) throughout the film.  Justify your response by a) providing evidence from the film to support your choice (minimum of three scenes – as three points are need to describe a graphed curvilinear relationship); and b) providing evidence to discount the other models (at least one scene per model).  Clearly identify the scenes by citing the counter (e.g., 11:20) and a brief description.
  2. Estimate Falco’s competitive trait anxiety (high, medium, or low – for each of the anxiety components: somatic, cognitive, self-confidence) justifying your estimate with evidence from the film (i.e., one scene per estimate).
  3. Clearly demonstrate your understanding of Nideffer’s Model of Attention in sport by clearly providing an example from the film for each of the four quadrants (again, clearly identifying the scene).
  4. The film’s main character was either accused of “choking” or appeared to choke at some point in the film.  Is Falco in fact a “choker”?  Use the “choking” model presented in class and the text, and evidence from the film (counter/description) for each component (e.g., attentional changes, physiological changes, etc.) of the model to justify your position.
  5. Coaches in the film attempt to regulate their player’s arousal or anxiety in an attempt to improve their performance.  What strategies did they use and were they effective (provide at least two examples from the film).
  6. The building blocks of your paper will be the paragraph.  Each paragraph should have one major point (e.g., The Inverted-U hypothesis best explains..) evidence should be presented to support your point (e.g., we see this in the bar scene when he…).  Finally, the link between the point and evidence should be explained (e.g., according to…).
  7. Reference lecture slides as simply “(Arousal-Performance Slides) or (Attention Slides).
  8. Submit both your Outline and Viewing Guide in the Appendix of your paper as part of the same document. Your paper should not exceed five double-spaced pages in length, not including a separate Title, References, and Appendix pages.  E-mail your paper as a Word document (APA format – header not required) titled “yourname.replacements.doc”.

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