In the last year, our world turned dark, and our hope turned darker.
We fought about politics. We fought about equality. We fought about masks and toilet paper.
Would it have been different had we asked more questions, listened more intently, and shown more curiosity than judgment?
Ted Lasso thinks so.
The Apple TV+ series star was a man unlike any other—an American football coach turned British soccer coach, thrust from one continent to another, leading a team in a game he did not know. And like Trent Crimm, a reporter covering the team in the streaming series, we all thought, is this a joke?
It wasn’t. Like Ted Lasso, we all face challenges. One second we are excelling at what we know. The next, we don’t have a clue.
Ted Lasso told us to embrace it.
“Hey, takin’ on a challenge is a lot like ridin’ a horse,” Lasso said. “If you’re comfortable while you’re doin’ it, you’re probably doin’ it wrong.”
But Ted Lasso wasn’t just a guy who took on challenges. He was warm when most of us were cold. He was forgiving when most of us were angry. He was brave when most of us were scared. Yet even in his times of seeming perfection, he slipped up—just like us.
He lost his cool when his stubborn star player tested his patience. And how does a guy who so easily handles life’s unpredictability muck up his marriage?
Just as we saw his flaws, Ted Lasso stopped thinking about himself. He asked questions and thought about his family. Then he made one of the hardest decisions a man could make—to let the love of his life and the mother of his child go.
“I’ll be OK,” Lasso said.
While we watched his human struggles, we could not help asking whether his team would ever win throughout the series’ first year.
But with Ted Lasso, it’s “not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.”
We’ve heard these words from coaches before. The difference is Ted Lasso meant it.
Convincing his players took time. Team captain Roy Kent expressed frustration that he had to finish his career coached by “Ronald McDonald.” But Ted Lasso smiled and said, “If he’s upset now, imagine how angry he’s gonna be when we win him over.”
That’s the importance of Ted Lasso. This was not a show about soccer. It was a show about hope. It forced us to dig in our souls, searching for our own Ted Lassos.
And it came when we needed it most.
“Ted Lasso,” starring Jason Sudeikis, began its second season July 23 on Apple TV+.
John Fitzgerald is an accounting specialist at the University of Kansas, a sports fan and a blogger.