I grew up in a household of immigrants so I heard a lot of “aren’t Americans weird” observations growing up. Some of them were admiring, as in, “They live in such pretty houses!” “They all drive Cadillacs!” (Cadillacs were the car that represented success at the time for our demographic). Others were less flattering. But there was always this sense of Americans as strange and exotic creatures with inexplicable habits and hearts that felt far away from ours.
It wasn’t until my twenties that I realized that, having spent all but two of my years in the United States, “American” applied to me too. I still sometimes feel like an anthropologist observing natives in their habitat, although the feeling is way worse when I go to my “country of origin.” (Boy, am I a fish out of water there). It’s the standard “stranger everywhere” feeling of the first-generation immigrant.
It might be for that reason that I find the Ted Lasso commercial, a send-up of an American football coach trying to coach a British soccer team, the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. I didn’t grow up with American football – my dad didn’t watch it and we didn’t know any Americans well enough that I’d be exposed to it over at their house. I somehow managed to dodge the bullet of marrying a sports-loving guy – my husband only watched the Superbowl and the World Series to be able to discuss it intelligently with his restaurant customers. (This is a good thing, because I doubt I would have coped well with football widowhood). I’ve never sat through a whole game, although I’ve been to a few Superbowl parties. I’m pretty sure those don’t count, though, because I hung out in the kitchen chatting politics with the guys when they came for beer. So the rules of the game are a mystery to me.
But I do know soccer. I grew up watching my father watch it and, later, when I had kids, I watched them play. I even coached them. But whether you know either sport well, Jason Sudeikis is irresistible as the clueless American football coach. And Jason Sudeikis in shorts… that’s a bonus. (Side note: god, is he cute. Those legs!).
So the commercial may play into the “ugly American” stereotype just a little bit, but it’s just hilarious.
“Wales? Wait, that’s another country?”
“Yes and no.”
“How many countries are in this country?”
Check it out:
And if you just can’t get enough, here is the long version: