For The Children Weekly Column

The Lessons of “Ted Lasso” and Fall Forum

October 25, 2021


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “For the Children” Weekly Column

Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117


The Lessons of "Ted Lasso" and Fall Forum

The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy completed our annual Fall Forum Monday, our conference on policies affecting children and developing solutions to those issues.

The advocates were exemplary, brainstorming on a wide array of concerns. Many of these ideas will be included in the 2022 Children’s Legislative Agenda we will present to state lawmakers, agency leaders, and our congressional delegation. The hope is they will craft proposals to address the issues based on our recommendations.

Advocates discussed mental health, physical health, access to technology and quality internet, economic stability, child welfare, and juvenile justice. The entire conversation, while remaining serious and businesslike, was upbeat and positive throughout the four days of online meetings.

When we look around the world, it seems there is an overwhelming sense of dread coming from negativity flooding our computer and television screens. Unchecked, those unrelenting negative messages can drop a cloud of dread so thick we cannot see past it.

With that, I decided to infuse some positive. It had taken me a while to come around to a suggestion to watch a show called “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV. Many friends said the show brought them a smile during the first season, and the show won several recent Emmy Awards. When one of my best friends lured me into watching the pilot, this seemed like perfect timing.

If you are not familiar with the show, “Ted Lasso” follows a football (the American kind) coach as he makes the switch to coaching football (the British kind) in England. The kind-hearted coach — played by Jason Sudeikis — managed to make his way into the hearts of his boss, his players, and the football fans. The ever-optimistic coach could make almost everyone smile.

At the center of Lasso’s coaching skills are his “Ted Lasso-isms,” ranging from profound to hilarious, and all are thought-provoking. Here are some of my favorites; if you need a little “positive” in your life, take this as a recommendation to watch the show.

“You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a 10-second memory. Be a goldfish.”

“I believe in hope. I believe in Believe.”

“As the man once said, the harder you work, the luckier you get.”

And the one that struck me most: “Oklahoma” was the word Ted used in couple’s therapy with his wife. If invoked by one party, it obligated the other to tell the “God’s honest truth.” Too often, people will not be completely forthright when it comes to an answer that might hurt the feelings of another. Using our state’s name in this show hit home for me that we all need to do a better job when it comes to discussing problems.

I hope our policymakers and others working in this arena can take this conversation to heart also. When it comes to our state, I believe we can use this lesson to demand for complete honesty and better results.

Watching “Ted Lasso” was just what I needed to elevate my optimism this past week, and the advocates from Fall Forum ensured that the work taken from our conference will be what we need to have an “Oklahoma” discussion with our Oklahoma leaders.