KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In the hit Apple TV+ show "Ted Lasso," the coach asks his soccer team: "Do you believe in miracles?"
For local designer and business owner Brendan Curran, seeing the T-shirts he created appear over and over on the show was no miracle. It was just a matter of friends looking out for each other.
Curran is old friends with the show's creator and star, Jason Sudeikis, who grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. Sudeikis plays an American football coach who's hired to coach a British soccer club and fumbles repeatedly as he attempts to learn the game. Ted Lasso began as a character in promotional shorts for NBC Sports' British Premier League soccer coverage, but Sudeikis expanded the concept into a fully formed character and series that has drawn large audiences and critical acclaim.
In the first episode, Ted wears a shirt reading "JoeArthur Gatestack," a mashup of local joints Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que (formerly Oklahoma Joe's), Arthur Bryant's Barbecue, Gates Bar-B-Q and Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue. It was one of the first designs Curran made for his business, Three KC.
The "three" in the name represents what Curran considers the "three kings of Kansas City": 'cue, crown and arrow. Or, in other words, barbecue, the Royals and the Chiefs. They're KC's great prides, Curran says, and his pride is in KC.
"I love living in Kansas City. I wasn't born here, but I've lived here since I was 8," said Curran, who lives in Lenexa. "And the relationships I've had with my friends and my wife and all that — Kansas City is a huge part of that."
The character Ted Lasso, like Sudeikis and Curran, hails from the Kansas City suburbs, the Kansas side. He comes to the U.K. after coaching the fictional Wichita State football team. The show is rife with references to Kansas City, including a mention of his grade school, Brookridge Elementary, a shot of Arthur Bryant's as Ted's computer background photo, and a bottle of Bryant's sauce, to name a few.
"I can tell you already, everybody from Kansas City he's giving shoutouts to is super happy because it's never empty," executive producer Bill Lawrence told The Star last August, ahead of the series debut. "It's always stuff he truly is a monster fan of to begin with."
That's certainly true for Curran.
Ted Lasso meets JoeArthur Gatestack