The iconic character of Ted Lasso was inspired by the legend of the Chicago Bears

August 18, 2021; Cincinnati, OH, USA; An image of Ted Lasso is seen on typhus before the match between CF Montreal and FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who watches television regularly has to be familiar with Ted Lasso. The 11 Emmy Award-winning show for Apple TV+ is beloved by millions upon millions of viewers. It stars Jason Sudeikis as the title character, a former college football coach hired to coach a soccer team in the United Kingdom. The team owner’s intention is for it to fail, thus ruining the club originally owned by her ex-husband. However, Lasso’s unorthodox leadership based on positivity and self-confidence proves unexpectedly successful. It is a delightful experience and has brought Sudeikis much well deserved praise.

Many people have wondered where the inspiration for Lasso came from. The First We Feast YouTube team, hosts of the popular series Hot Ones, asked him while he was enjoying chicken wings. Sudeikis explained how the inspiration for the character came from various people he knew personally growing up. However, getting the Lasso skin was a bit more challenging. In the end, a famous head coach had what he was looking for.

None other than Chicago Bears legend Mike Ditka.

Ted Lasso is far from Ditka as a personality.

The two couldn’t be more different. Lasso coaches through positivity and confidence that the players will do the right thing, offering guidance when needed. Ditka was not that. He was a tough disciplinarian. Everything the Bears did would not happen without his express consent. If someone improvised on the field, he would bench them or even cut them. That’s why he hated quarterbacks like Jim McMahon and Jim Harbaugh. It would have been fascinating to see what would have happened if that Bears locker room in the 1980s ran into a guy like Lasso.

Considering the characters in that squad, it probably would have been ugly. That said, it’s fun to remember how much of an inspiration Ditka continues to be. Not just as a coach, mind you. as a character Other NFL coaches were more successful than him, but few people today remember who they were. Everyone remembers Mike Ditka. The same goes for Ted Lasso. If season three is the finale everyone’s hoping for, he’ll easily be one of the greatest TV characters ever created.

Educated to be a writer at Chicago’s prestigious Columbia College, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.