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AFC Richmond Reacted Just Like the Rest of Us When Ted Lasso Did the Worst Thing

Ted smiling at his desk on Ted Lasso

It’s not often that Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) does something that is so horrible that everyone screams. But when he does, it’s for a good reason, which is why, in theory, I understand why he had to rip up the “Believe” sign in the locker room. Back during season 2, Nate (Nick Mohammed) ripped it up in an act of anger, and ever since, the boys of the AFC Richmond football team have seen the tear in that piece of paper as a sign.

Every time it falls apart, they flip out. If something happens to it, they lose their confidence in their ability to play the game. And this week, as Ted is trying to inspire his team after Zava’s (Maximilian Osinski) decision to retire and leave the Greyhounds, the sign splits in two once more. The boys take that as a sign and all start to panic until Ted uses it as a teaching moment.

He rips the sign down, tears it apart, and teaches his players about the real power that belief can have. I get it. It’s a great speech and one of the reasons that Ted is a fantastic character to lead this series. But also. watching as horror fills the face of each player at AFC Richmond is incredibly relatable because the Ted Lasso “Believe” sign has come to mean more than just that piece of paper he hung up in season 1.

In an episode all about “signs” and what they can mean, this is the most accurate and direct callout to the danger that relying solely on the “signs” can do to your own strength and ability. Ted sees this, course corrects his team, and we’ll see how it plays out in the future of AFC Richmond, but it’s still shocking to see that sign in a ripped up pile.

The old rule is out. A new way to believe is in.

AFC Richmond shocked ted ripped up the believe sign on ted lasso
(Apple TV+)

When Nate ripped that sign, it changed how not only Ted viewed the sign he used to inspire his players, but also how we as the audience saw it. Every time the sign separated because of Nate’s pain, we could see Ted’s own reflected back. Because those two were friends and they still haven’t had time to explore what happened.

But this moment, when Ted Lasso uses that pain and that upset, over a ripped piece of paper that holds a lot of weight to it, to teach his players that their own confidence in their abilities as a team has to come from themselves and not this paper? It’s why we love Ted! That doesn’t negate the fact that it hurts seeing a sign that has become synonymous with the show lay in tatters on the table of the locker room.

Personally? I don’t think they’ll replace the sign any time soon. It’s too significant for him to take it down and rip it in that way. So we may never see the “Believe” sign in yellow and blue hanging up again. But we’ll always remember the power it held, and I can’t wait to see where its death takes the Greyhounds next.

(featured image: Apple TV+)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.