“Success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves, on and off the field.” ~Ted Lasso
If it hasn’t been said often enough yet, let me reiterate that Ted Lasso is the best show out there right now. Period. Full stop. I mean, I could stop writing this post right here because that is all that needs to be said. (If you haven’t seen it yet, get yourself Apple TV this instant.) I’m not surprised by the appeal of a show about an over-the-top, optimistic, and genuinely kind American fumbling his way through England and soccer (although the show now has me calling it football). As a global society during a continuing pandemic that leaves us more isolated than we would like, we were all looking for something to connect us. Ted Lasso does that by combining characters from around the globe who teach us that we have more in common than we know. And, yes, at the end of the day it is a feel-good show, but I don’t believe that it is as simple as that.
What makes the characters so relatable is their struggles and their humanity. Take Jamie Tartt, for example. He could have been written as a self-absorbed soccer phenom and nothing else, but the writers have taken care to show us that his drive to be the best, to be the star no matter who he tramples over to do it, comes from being bullied by his father. Consider Rebecca. Her mean girl, initially selfish desire to bring the football club of her cheating ex-husband to an end stemmed from humiliation and a lack of self-esteem brought on by years in an abusive marriage. Even Ted Lasso himself, despite his infectious optimism, is no stranger to emotional pain after learning his own wife doesn’t love him anymore because he is just too much.
What makes the show award-worthy is not its clever dialogue, winsome characters, and perfect casting, but its ability to tackle dark struggles in our human condition with honesty and maturity. At the end of the day, the show is about owning your shit and learning to rise above it. It’s about seeking continual improvement in yourself, your relationships, and your life. It’s about being accountable, apologizing when you are wrong, and working to do better. Ted Lasso is not merely a feel-good vehicle giving us the positivity we crave in what feels like dark times. It’s about learning how to endure the dark times with grace and come out better on the other side.
Ted Lasso isn’t coaching AFC Richmond. He’s coaching us. And like the seats in the show’s intro, Ted Lasso is turning our hearts from cold, hard blue to warm, vital red.
When I first saw the title of your post, what popped into my head reading “Ted Lasso” was actually Woody from Toy Story. Even the quote, that “success is not about wins and losses…” sounded as if it could come from the cartoon cowboy.
In a sequel, a young girl named Jessica is left to her own devices to save the entire toy box (if I recall the story accurately). There’s a G.I. Joe-like character with a name like Sarge, and a motto “Sarge never gives up. Sarge finds a way.” as response to every difficulty laid before him. He is their hero and their protector and their strength until he is swept away and revealed to be just another toy in the box, powerless to save them.
Jessica starts from nothing and meets many challenges. With each one, she repeats her mantra, “Jessica never gives up. Jessica finds a way.”
Whether from an animated girl or a fictional soccer coach, we should all be reminded frequently that we are all the same beneath the skin, and we all have an inner strength and light if we can find it, stretch for it, reach it.
The big world is filled with wars and giant corporations and humanitarian crises, but is made up of individuals that share life on the street level.
Edward Kennedy said “What divides us pales in comparison to what unites us.”
Ted, Jessica; thank you.
It really is about being the best you that you can be.
And I believe in you.
Humankind never gives up.
People find a way.
I absolutely LOVE Ted Lasso! Totally agree, I really think it is the BEST show on TV right now. I eagerly await friday nights for the next released episode, and will be sad when the season is over. Love his analogies, his philosophies, his lessons, and he is supported by amazing characters — to your point from all walks of life and parts of the world. The incredibly creative and fast dialogue has me laughing every episode, and YES, I just feel good after watching. This past week’s lesson of “it all works out, not necessarily how you want or expect it to, but it does.” So good.
I loved this week’s message to his team as well. The idea of going into things without expectations. I’m not always great at that, but when I am able to enact a lack of expectations it is freeing and things do work out. Thanks for reading!
beautiful post, loved your ending of him coaching us!