INGLEWOOD, Calif. — When Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury gets back to his Paradise Valley home in Arizona after Sunday’s 37-20 demolition of the Los Angeles Rams, he’s not going to sit back and bask in the glow of being the NFL’s only 4-0 team.
Instead, he’s going to sit on his (famous) couch and turn on Apple TV+’s hit show “Ted Lasso.”
It’ll be a distraction for about 45 minutes, an opportunity for Kingsbury, the well-known early riser and film watcher, to not think about football — well, the American kind, anyway — for just a bit before he starts preparing for next week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
But the show hits Kingsbury a little deeper than most.
“There’s some real parallels between Ted Lasso and myself,” Kingsbury said Sunday of the title character, played by Jason Sudeikis, who went from coaching college football in Kansas to coaching a Premier League club in England.
Kingsbury, who went from coaching college football to the NFL in 2019 after getting fired from Texas Tech after six seasons in late 2018, then laid them out.
There’s “the epic YouTube dance video.”
In the pilot of “Ted Lasso”, the fictional coach is celebrating by doing the “Running Man” dance — the same one Sudeikis made popular on “Saturday Night Live — that’s shown during a fictional segment on ESPN’s SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt.
Kingsbury went viral in 2014 when a clip of him doing the “Stanky Legg” during spring practice at Texas Tech made its way across the internet.
Then there were their opening news conferences.
“Y’all were at my press conference,” Kingsbury said. “It was essentially the same press conference as Ted Lasso had, when everybody was like, ‘Is this some kind of a joke?'”
Kingsbury was referring to a scene in the pilot when Lasso was introduced to the British media and was bombarded with questions about soccer and didn’t really have answers to them.
In reality, Kingsbury’s initial news conference wasn’t anything like Lasso’s, but there were questions publicly about his hiring and his ability to translate to the NFL after going 35-40 at Texas Tech.
And then there’s the personality.
“He’s weirdly positive all the time,” Kingsbury said, offering a glimpse into how he perceives himself away from the podium. “So, we’ll take it. But, yeah, I like the show.”