Good morning, it’s Friday, July 23, 2021, the day of the week I pass along quotations intended to be inspirational or thought-provoking. Today’s comes from “Ted Lasso,” the marvelous series on Apple TV+ with Jason Sudeikis in the title role — a persona he created. You may ask, why am I quoting him? Ostensibly, the reason is that the show’s second season starts tonight. And also, well, just because, which I think you’ll understand if you watch it.
Ted Lasso is an American football coach who has been cast by cosmic forces beyond his ken into coaching a Premier League soccer team in England. He seems guileless to the point of cluelessness and at times appears to be on the spectrum. Like many Americans, he can’t fathom the British love of tea. Unlike most visitors to the U.K., Ted Lasso just blurts this out.
When Rebecca, the soccer team’s owner, asks Ted, “How do you take your tea?” he replies, “Well, normally right back to the counter because there’s been a terrible mistake.”
When in Rome, and all that, meaning that Ted tries to like the Brits’ beverage, but can’t: “You know, I always thought that tea was going to taste like hot brown water, and you know what? I was right. It’s horrible.”
But that’s not the quote of the week because this comedic series is ultimately not just about the banter or the humor or sports at all. It’s about empathy and how most people are just to trying to make the best things even as they seem to be banging around in society, wreaking havoc on others’ lives. The characters continually surprise you, especially Ted Lasso himself. He turns out to be an intelligent and observant man, if a bit hyper and oversensitive. And tougher than he’s given credit for, as you’ll see in a moment.
First, let me point you to RealClearPolitics’ front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. We also offer original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors, including the following:
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Supreme Court Raised the Bar for Challenge to GA Election Law. Derek Muller explains why the Department of Justice’s case against Georgia’s new voting law was weakened by the recent ruling in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee.
Infrastructure: The View From the States. Nicholas Rathod & Sam Munger highlight calls for action from governors, mayors and other state and local officials.
Biden Gaffe Renews Questions About COVID Transparency. Phil Wegmann has the story.
The Academy of Pediatrics and Common Sense on Masks. At RealClearPolicy, Nat Malkus argues that AAP’s recommendations are more likely to alienate, rather than inform, communities where clear public health guidance is most needed.
America’s Shameful Appeasement of Russia. At RealClearWorld, Daniel Kochis details his disapproval of the U.S.-German Nord Stream II agreement.
Expanding the Supply Chain for Rare Earth Materials. In RealClearEnergy, Lewis Black examines our national imperative.
Are LGBT Students Worse Off at Christian Colleges? At RealClearReligion, Gene Schaerr and Nicholas Miller respond to allegations in a lawsuit claiming discrimination.
New Discoveries About Pterosaurs. RealClearScience editor Ross Pomeroy spotlights fossil research regarding the winged dinosaurs.
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At a key moment in one episode of “Ted Lasso,” our hero is playing darts for high stakes with a rich bully who’s trying to hustle him. I won’t say more because it might give away too much, but at one point, Ted takes control of the scene. He does so as he’s throwing darts while delivering the following monologue:
“Guys underestimated me my entire life. And for years, I never understood why. It used to really bother me. But then one day I was driving my little boy to school and I saw this quote by Walt Whitman and it was painted on the wall there. It said: ‘Be curious, not judgmental.’ And I liked that. So I get back in my car and I’m driving to work, and all of a sudden it hits me. All them fellas that used to be belittle me; not a single one of them were curious. They thought they had everything all figured out. So they judged everything, and everyone. And I realized that their underestimating me — who I was had nothing to do with it. ’Cause if they were curious, they could’ve asked questions. You know? Questions like: ‘Have you played a lot of darts, Ted?’ To which I would’ve answered: ‘Yes, sir. Every Sunday afternoon at a sports bar with my father, from age 10 ’til I was 16 when he passed away.”
And that’s our quote of the week.
Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics