A big part of the episode dealt with the fallout of the news that Ted would leave Richmond at the end of the season, with plenty of tearful goodbyes. None were as fun, however, as the players themselves saying goodbye to Ted, and they did it the best way possible.
At the end of their last practice, the team surprises Ted with a full musical rendition of “So Long, Farewell,” the song from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1959 musical, “The Sound of Music,” and its 1965 film adaptation — complete with Dani Rojas in the role of little Gretl, and Roy Kent mouthing the lyrics to the song in the background.
It is a fantastic scene with rather good choreography, but it is not the first time a musical number happens on the training grounds at Richmond. In the penultimate episode of season 2, Ted and Coach Beard also have the team train and perform a musical performance of NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye.” In both instances, the moment the coaches give their approval to the performance the team celebrates like crazy, going absolutely nuts, even more so than when they win the climactic match in the finale.
The reason these performances work as more than references is that they show how much the players have grown, how much they’ve opened up to one another that they are comfortable doing silly things like a song and dance number to say goodbye to their boss and do so completely earnestly and not tongue in cheek.