Coach Ted Lasso: American Across the Pond

Despite their denials, there is no doubt that the United Kingdom still harbors some resentment towards the United States. As the saying goes, the best thing the crown ever created was America. The English tend to hold themselves in high regard; the English that they speak is considered to be proper. In their view, to accurately imitate an American, simply speak as if you’ve resided 10 miles south of San Antonio for your whole life.

However, we may have met the man to alleviate the tension. That man is Coach Ted Lasso, the fictional brainchild of NBC Universal who announced their acquisition of television rights for the Barclays English Premier League. In what amounts to nothing more than a goofy commercial for their big purchase, NBC allows their late-night comedian, Jason Sudeikis, to don a moustache worthy of Mike Ditka and shorts that belong in the NBA circa 1984.

Lasso announced he will be doing word association to help him learn some of the other club teams in the English Premier League, as well as sounding out the proper way to say Tottenham (the club he was hired to coach) by spelling it out “Tot’num.” He associates both Manchester United and Liverpool with the Dallas Cowboys. He decides that Manchester United is like the Cowboys for their amazing ability to bankroll, and Liverpool for their great past and mediocre present. Lasso then decides that Manchester City is Jennifer Lawrence; Cardiff is “that hot chick from ‘Game of Thrones,’ Khaleesi,” and that West Ham United is simply a “pickup truck.”

Along the way, he loses to young Tottenham striker Harry Kane 15-0 in a game of “FIFA.” He then elects not to use his hands for a whole day as “an act of solidarity” and tells Belgian centre back Jan Vertonghen (calling him “John” due to his inability to pronounce a foreign name) that he could get his three-quarter pants “in the women’s section.”

In maybe Lasso’s biggest revelation, he notices the Real Madrid winger, Gareth Bale, pass the ball across the field. He asks his assistant who the winger is and makes sure that he is English. His help lets him know that he is from Wales, a country Lasso has never heard of, to which he replies, “How many countries are in this country?” He received a fairly comfortable response of “four.”

When Shepherd football offensive coordinator Ernie McCook saw the video, he loved it. “This is great! I’m going to show this to [his wife] Beth for sure. She used to coach soccer before we had kids.”
Quarterback coach Joel Gordon also appeared to be a fan: “That was absolutely hilarious. It was like if Ricky Bobby decided he wanted to coach a sport. That was genius.”

The video has definitely taken on a bit of a life of its own. It has been shown on late night talk shows and has almost become Sudeikis’ alternate. With the Saturday Night Live alum starting to really make some serious headway in the ever-changing landscape of show business, it would seem a shame, and really quite silly and short-sighted if Lasso never made another appearance.

As the Tottenham saying goes, “the future is lilywhite.” Should Tottenham struggle under their second-year Portuguese manager, Andre Villas-Boas, there should be little doubt that they will turn their attention to Lasso. At least he’ll know he has to beat the Cowboys four times a year.

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