Ted Lasso to Buff Fans: “Be a Goldfish”

Ted Lasso is must-see TV.

Don’t take my word for it. The Apple TV production earned a whopping 20 Emmy nominations for its first season, winning awards for best comedy series, best actor, best supporting actor and best supporting actress.

If you are not familiar with the show, here’s an overview: Ted Lasso is a successful college football coach (from Wichita State?) who is hired to take over a middling English soccer team, despite having no background coaching the sport. The woman who hires him expects him, and the team, to fail. If you can accept the absurd premise (and are willing to forgive the producers absconding with the plotline of Major League), Ted Lasso is a great show.

The main character, played by Jason Sudeikis, has a down-home, aw-shucks charm that eventually wins over skeptical players and fans. Part Will Rogers, part Gomer Pyle, part Woody from Cheers, and part Forrest Gump, each show is full of clever and pithy quotes:

  • “Hey, takin’ on a challenge is a lot like ridin’ a horse. If you’re comfortable while you’re doin’ it, you’re probably doin’ it wrong”;
  • “When it comes to locker rooms, I like ’em just like my mother’s bathing suits. I only wanna see ’em in one piece.”
  • “You beating yourself up is like Woody Allen playing the clarinet. I don’t want to hear it.”

The writing is exceptional, with plenty of Easter eggs spread throughout each episode. In one episode my wife and I recently watched, Ted and his American assistant coach are in a bar, and break into a riff spoofing a song from Hamilton. A few scenes later, we are introduced to a new character, a sports psychologist whose name is Dr. Fieldstone (if you don’t get the reference, you should go back and watch Sleepless in Seattle one more time).

Why go on and on about a television show?

It beats talking about the Buffs losing 26-3 to Cal.

But, there is a connection here, as long-suffering CU fans need a bit of a break. Plus, there are a few quotes from Ted Lasso which are appropriate here.

None more than one of Lasso’s more quotable quotes:

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

That’s what CU coaches, players, and fans need to do – be a goldfish.


Because the numbers from the Cal game are too painful to dwell upon:

  • The Buffs finished with 104 yards of total offense. There have been only nine games – nine! – in the history of the program in which the Buffs finished with less than 100 yards of total offense, with only three of those coming in the last half century … 44 v. Oklahoma (2004 Big 12 championship); 61 v. USC (2002); and 76 v. Stanford (2014);
  • The average gain in CU’s 46 offensive plays was 2.3, again, just outside the top ten (bottom ten?) efforts in CU history;
  • This effort from an offense which was already last in the Pac-12 in total offense. The Buffs, coming into the game, were averaging 260.5 yards/game … a full 90 yards per game behind the 11th-place offense, Arizona. CU’s new number after Saturday’s effort: 238.1 yards per game. Heading into this weekend, CU was 127th in the nation in total offense. New Mexico was last in the country … at 253.6 yards/game.

And all this against a California defense which was giving up 407.7 yards per game.

“That wasn’t the type of game I was expecting at all”, grossly understated head coach Karl Dorrell. “We struggled in the first half on both sides of the ball. We had a tough time stopping them with their offense. Their quarterback (Chase Garbers) made some plays. Offensively, we couldn’t quite get any continuity of really bringing some drives together. We got three points on one drive and that’s really about it, and that was for kickoff return.

“It’s unfortunate that we didn’t play to our capabilities today. We had a really good week of practice and felt we were going to play our best football. It didn’t happen today. We’ve got a lot of work to do. The players know that. We’ve got to change things up to be more productive and more efficient and more effective with some other semblance of things. It was not a very good performance.”

“Not a very good performance?” How about: “Abysmal”? “Pathetic”? “Career Ending?”.

The Buffs looked lost on offense. Is it Dorrell? Is it offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini? Is it quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf? Is it offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue?

All of the above?

When asked about the woes of the offensive line, not only didn’t it sound like Dorrell had answers, it sounded like he didn’t even know what the questions were to ask:

“I can’t quite put a finger on that. I’m trying to figure that out. We’re going to have to really look at that and see what’s going on there. We’ve had some issues up front. At this point in time, we should have some of those things cleared up. Apparently, we’re still struggling with doing some things. We’ve got to go back and really analyze what our issues are and try to get those things fixed in a hurry. There are a lot of guys (on the offensive line that) have played a lot of football. It’s hard to put a finger on it. I wish I had the remedy to fix it. We’ll figure that out. That’s what we’re going to have to do as coaches — try to figure out what our issues are and try to get that shored up as quickly as we can so that we can get back to playing some productive football.”


Time to be a goldfish, Buff fans. Erase the memories. Move on to the next game … against Oregon in Eugene.

A few other Ted Lasso quotes to leave you with …

— “For me, success is not about the wins and losses. It’s about helping these young fellas be the best versions of themselves on and off the field.”

Yeah, yeah. All coaches say that. We want the Buffs to be productive citizens and good students.

What? They can’t be good students and good citizens … and not threaten to be the worst offense in the history of the program? (As noted, CU is down to averaging 238.1 yards per game. The lowest average for a season? 218.9 yards per game … in 1964).

“There’s two buttons I never like to hit: that’s panic and snooze.”

Clever … but not appropriate here.

I understand that Karl Dorrell is only 13 games into his coaching career at Colorado. Basically, he’s only one full season into the job, and due to circumstances partially beyond his control, is playing with a quarterback who is not ready to face Power Five competition.

But “subtle changes” are not going to work here.

You can’t have an offense which is ranked 130th out of 130 FBS teams – a list which includes the likes of Kansas, Vanderbilt, UMass, UConn, and New Mexico – and not take drastic steps.

Pull the plug on Darrin Chiaverini, Part II. Fans don’t know the dynamics of what is going on in the fourth floor of the Champions Center, but something has to be done. Washington State played with half a coaching staff Saturday, and came within a failed two-point conversion of taking BYU into overtime.

You don’t need a full staff to compete.

Make it happen … make something happen.

Finally, for those of you who have made it to the end of this Essay … Thank you. You are among the few who have stayed with the Buffs through tough times before, and will see this team through the tough times ahead …

— “I promise you, there is something worse out there than being sad. And that is being alone and being sad. Ain’t no one in this room alone.”

Thanks for being here – you are not alone.


12 Replies to “Ted Lasso to Buff Fans: “Be a Goldfish””

  1. I like I am a believer in Communism, Rom-Communisim. If it can happen to them why not us……

    But basically I have given up on the season. I am not sure why Dorrell is doing what he is doing. I am a bit surprised Rodrigue is gone mid season and not Chev, but perhaps Dorrell is recognizing his influence in the offense is part of the problem…. Not sure. I still don’t know why Carter is still not playing and until he does I probably won’t watch the away games. Will still head to the home games. At least there is only 2 of the, left…..

  2. I loved the article. Humor has always been my way of coping and this one made me laugh. Let’s hope for better days ahead, GO BUFFS! Positive note: Basketball season is just around the corner!

    1. I did see the Blackmon and Rice interviews. I thought they were pretty honest statements from two guys who know what’s going on. Also thought some of Rice’s comments were really interesting about buying in and such. Not the first time we have heard that.

      1. Yeah, I don’t know what to make of Rice’s comments either. I try not to put too much stock in stuff like that. I’m just curious what we’ll see this off season in terms of coaching changes, players staying, leaving, coming over, etc. And, in the mean time, maybe they can get maybe more than a yard and a half a minute of game time? That’s down from like three yards a minute a few weeks ago.

        Go Buffs

  3. Someone posted about stages of grief and acceptance. I’m there. I accept that the football team is as bad as it’s ever been. Maybe that’s why the players were smiling at the end. When things are really bad, people look for humor. Like this article. Puts things into perspective. I will still be a Buff fan. That’s what I’ve always been, not a fair weather fan. Just need to look at things differently. Like a goldfish.

  4. Classic. Maybe Ted lasso can coach the Buffs? Karl doesn’t seem like he can. Sadly, I don’t think they can fire him, and if they did, who would the be able to get?

    That leaves me having to hope Karl can fix this. But that hope wanes a little further each weekend. Even last week was just another mirage, like the first four games last year.

    Maybe the good news is, it could be a totally clean slate for the next group, from the ad down. And at least they have the shiny, somewhat new facilities.

    Go Buffs. Fix it.

  5. When KD says he cant put a finger on it he is lying at you. He has finger squarely on it. He may not have his finger on the nuances of coaching an O line or a QB……. but It is the coaching “dummy.”
    Another thing that makes me absolutely sure is the fact I still havent seen a fleeting shadow of “mea culpa” in this whole mess.
    And its not just the techniques they need to teach, although that would be over half way there. They have lost this team completely with their Bo Schembechler brand of football I had to play in high school. Its no fun being on the field on offense when the same ol crap comes into the huddle and you see 2 defensive lineman and a linebacker shoulder to shoulder on the whole you need to open or run through. Options? What the hell are those? Audibles? what the hell are those? And playing D aint no fun either when you watch this crap from he sidelines and seeing the dejection form the O guys, having only enough time to take a sip of gatoraid before you head back in.
    Its becoming apparent that KD might replace Chev as a decent WR coach. …and Chev should have been fired halfway through his blubbering presser. That guy’s attitude is far worse than anything beneficial he might bring to the table like recruiting….recruit em and ruin em. And the incredible thing is the O has progressively gotten worse in his years here. And as we have all seen its rock bottom right now.
    Another big lie from the coaches is “we are going to tailor the game plans to our player’s strengths.” I dont think I need to expound on that given what you have seen, especially from the QB. And there is no way I’m going to climb on his back like all the budlight experts that roam around in here. He was only allowed to chuck the ball 17 times in this game. Passing is like shooting hoops. There is a rhythm and a groove you need to get into before you go “unconscious.”
    Same thing with the receivers. Running a route knowing its about 75/25 there wont be a pass or having to block from the line on the 75 running plays gets old and stale too, leaving you at less than full capacity when your number is finally called. And I’ll say it once again….unless you have a passing game you aint goin anywhere. and dont throw any Navy examples at me.
    Back to the coaches. Their fraternity is almost as tight as the ref’s. Even if the HC has too fire one all you hear from the HC is how grateful we are for his past contribution and what a great guy he is. None of em want to grow callouses on their butt riding that wooden pony.
    So you cant fire KD right now in the middle of a season. OK if you dont want to do that there are at least 3 others, Rodrigue, who we thought was a genius last year, Langsdork who was obviously overrated, and of course the biggest boob of all the OC. Got nothing to lose right now at least for the rest of the season. This aint the cornhole or the spoiled children we are talking about.
    And if RG and KD havent been beating the bushes for someone to replace these bozos for the last 3 weeks its past time they started.

  6. Stuart,

    Thank you, the Ted Lasso “goldfish” reference made me laugh this morning…I needed it and all Buff fans needed it.

    It’s sooo frustrating because the head coach admittedly doesn’t have an answer to the recurring offensive problems…which is not a good sign.

    I hope the issues get fixed but I’m not optimistic.

    At least we still have the Chiefs!

    Again, I really appreciate all your work.


  7. Wow. Thank you Stuart. You actually made me laugh. Love Ted Lasso. It will be great having you get me through the next 3 or 4 years. Glad I am not alone. Don’t see anything but agony in the next few years. KD will surely get at least another year. Then someone will have to build it up from the ashes.
    Good news, we just need a few subtle changes.

  8. How about “we got out-coached”….again.
    Players respect and respond to leaders…..with the exception of CW and a few on defense I don’t see much leadership at all

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *