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Ted Lasso's subtle, yet touching tribute to Grant Wahl

The newest episode of Apple TV’s hit show Ted Lasso features an extremely niche yet beautiful tribute to legendary sportswriter Grant Wahl, who died while covering the World Cup in Qatar. Season three’s fourth episode ended with a message, “In memory of Grant Wahl,” but it was an earlier moment that eagle-eyed viewers will remember most.

During a short conversation between the titular character and Coach Beard, Lasso’s assistant can be seen holding a book titled The Beckham Experiment. The book was written by Wahl in 2009 and follows David Beckham’s foray into Major League Soccer. Wahl has shadowed the LA Galaxy to learn about the team and Beckham himself, much like Trent Crimm is seen doing during season three of the show. 

This reference is no accident or fun coincidence by the show’s writers. In an interview with Rich Eisen, Brendan Hunting, who writes for the show and also plays Coach Beard, revealed that they'd contacted Wahl for advice with the storyline regarding Trent Crimm, not expecting much if anything from the famous soccer journalist. To their surprise, Wahl responded within two days with paragraphs of answers to help the show’s writers tell Crimm’s story. 

Hunting actually mentioned that there would be “a little nod to him coming up in this next episode, and this was when he was still with us.” If you ask us, there could have been no better way for the show to incorporate Grant’s work. It’s a subtle, yet touching tribute to one of the greatest American soccer writers to ever walk this earth. 

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