Here’s Everything We Know About Ted’s Past on ‘Ted Lasso’
[WARNING: MAJOR spoilers from Ted Lasso Season 1 follow.]
We know plenty of things about Richmond’s ultra-lovable head coach, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudekis). We know he likes to bake biscuits for his friends. We know he doesn’t know what “offsides” means in soccer. We know he keeps a jar of peanut butter open on his counter so he can take a scoop with his finger as he walks past. We know he wore pajamas to his high school prom and had crushes on both his art teacher and his best friend’s sister.
But what we know about Ted stops, mostly, with the events in Season 1; there’s precious little to be gleaned about his past and his family history from the first 10 episodes. With a sports psychologist, Sharon (Sarah Niles) joining the team — and Ted’s panic attack — we think those tidbits just might become relevant in Season 2. So, while it’s not a whole lot, here’s what we do know about what led Ted down his current path.
He’s From the Midwest
And Kansas, to be specific — Merriam, if you’re looking at the Ted Lasso Twitter account, or Kansas City, if you’re listening to Jason Sudekis. Ted’s Midwestern roots show themselves plenty of times throughout the first season, in everything from his references to barbecue (and having barbecue sauce shipped to him from America) to certain shirts representing Kansas City culture and restaurants. We don’t know where he went to college, but we know he met his ex-wife there… and given how much of Ted’s life has been Kansas-based, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to assume he went to college there, too.
He’s Good at Darts
In one of our favorite moments from Season 1, Ted bested Rupert (Anthony Stewart Head) by getting a bullseye and two triple-twenties. We learn Ted’s proficiency with darts came from playing the game with his father every Sunday, starting when he was ten years old and ending when his father passed away, when Ted was sixteen.
There’s a decent amount to unpack just from that. First of all, it’s relevant that Ted and his dad were playing at a bar—not at their home. It’s a little surprising that Ted’s dad would take a ten-year-old to a bar so consistently (given Ted’s eventual choice of career, it’s probable he and his dad went there to watch Sunday football games). On the other side of that coin, though, one could assume Ted and his dad might’ve been close, given that they had the same ritual each Sunday and Ted seems to look back on it fondly.
Also, we learn here that Ted’s dad passed away when he was pretty young. It’s interesting that we don’t know much, if anything, about Ted’s mom — Ted doesn’t mention her, nor do we see him reaching out to her after he lands in England. It’ll be interesting to see whether Season 2 delves into his relationship with her, since we know he has happy memories with his dad.
He Was Probably Bullied
Part of Ted’s crusade to get everyone to “have a little love” in their hearts is probably because of how he was treated when he was young and into adulthood. In the same conversation about darts, Ted mentions that there were plenty of people who used to belittle him and underestimate him throughout his life, because they weren’t curious: they were judgmental.
While Ted’s usually pretty upbeat and cheery, dealing with that judgment, whether it came in the form of school bullies or unfriendly adults, probably left its mark—and that’s something he might discuss with Sharon in Season 2.
He Has Panic Attacks
While he never acted like it, the pressure was certainly on Ted throughout Season 1; he was trying to coach a sport he didn’t know in a country he wasn’t familiar with, with players who hated him and a team facing relegation, all while his marriage was crumbling. That would be enough to make anyone nervous, but for someone with anxiety, it’d be more than just nerve-wracking: it could be triggering. And for Ted, that’s exactly what it was, and he suffered a panic attack in the show’s fifth episode.
It’s notable that Ted says he doesn’t know what’s happening and thinks he’s “going crazy,” which probably means he doesn’t have a history of panic attacks or anxiety. At any rate, it doesn’t seem he’s been diagnosed or treated for it, which is something a sports psychologist could certainly help him with in Season 2.
Ted Lasso, Season 2 Premiere, Friday, July 23, Apple TV+