A Dispute over the Definition of the Word 'Unacceptable'

A Dispute over the Definition of the Word 'Unacceptable'

I wish I had kept a running count of the number of occasions in which Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie referred to the 2011 season as "unacceptable."

For quite a bit of the lead-up to his eventual defense of Andy Reid, I almost bought in to the remote possibility that the ownership had recognized it was time for a change. There was just something about that word—unacceptable—that kept reverberating back and forth inside my skull.

He kept coming back to it:

—What happened is unacceptable

—Going 8-8 is unnaceptable

—That pool of talent producing that record is unacceptable

Unless, of course, it's all totally acceptable.

I mean, Lurie fully expects this team to be better next year. And not just a little better, he sounded as though he expects the change to be the of the night and day variety.

He also seemed to indicate that the front office would be staying in tact. He then understandably declined to remark on specific roster moves. And though he didn't deny that changes may be made—leaving those matters to Andy's discretion—he also presented himself on multiple occasions as a careful analyst.

Part of that analysis over the past few weeks, as Lurie informed both the media and those fans watching, involved the realization that it took time for this team to gel given the somewhat rushed circumstances generated by the lockout's impact on the preseason. So, bearing in mind their late season improvement, it would stand to reason—seemingly for Lurie—that this, more or less, same collection of parts will enjoy a greater level of success next year.

He also made sure to tell all who listened that there were no excuses, such as the somewhat rushed circumstances generated by the lockout's impact on the preseason.

I understand there are plenty of you out there who are upset, and perhaps even confused by an owner who talks in circles and seems to contradict himself in every attempt to defend his beleaguered head coach.

Just remember, Jeffrey Lurie is fully aware that going 8-8 is unacceptable (but that it's acceptable if it leads to something better).

In closing, as much for my own sanity as I hope for your own, I have provided a list of both synonyms and antonyms for the word "unacceptable," courtesy of the fine people at Merriam-Webster.

Synonyms: bastard, bush, bush-league, crummy (alsocrumby), deficient, dissatisfactory, ill, inferior, lame,lousy, off, paltry, poor, punk, sour, suboptimal, subpar,substandard, bad, unsatisfactory, wack [slang], wanting,wretched, wrong

Antonyms: acceptable, adequate, all right, decent, fine,OK (or okay), passable, respectable, satisfactory,standard, tolerable

Honestly, this whole language barrier thing between Jeffrey Lurie and I would make a lot more sense if there were an actual language barrier involved.

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets crush Islanders, 7-0

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets crush Islanders, 7-0

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Unlike some other NHL teams coming off their bye week, there wasn't a spot of rust on the sleek Columbus Blue Jackets.

In their first game following a five-day break, the high-energy Blue Jackets blew out the New York Islanders 7-0 Saturday as backup goalie Joonas Korpisalo earned his first career shutout.

Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno each scored twice, and David Savard had a goal and three assists. Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson also scored to help the Blue Jackets end New York's three-game winning streak (see full recap).

Zibanejad scores in OT to help Rangers beat Devils again
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Rangers are finding ways to win, and the New Jersey Devils just aren't.

Moments after goaltender Antti Raanta stopped Kyle Palmieri on a breakaway, Mika Zibanejad scored 1:16 into overtime and the Rangers rallied to beat the Devils 4-3 on Saturday.

"I had to redeem myself after that letdown on the breakaway the other way," said Zibanejad, whose mistake gave Palmieri a chance to complete a hat trick. "Rants came up big and it's nice to see that puck cross the goal line once again and win the game."

The goal was Zibanejad's first in 16 games and it gave the Rangers their ninth win in 11 games (9-1-1). Struggling New Jersey got its fourth loss in five games (1-3-1) (see full recap).

Shaw's OT goal gives Canadiens 14th straight win over the Leafs
TORONTO -- Andrew Shaw scored 1:06 into overtime and the Montreal Canadiens beat Toronto 3-2 on Saturday night for their 14th consecutive victory over the Maple Leafs.

Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk had the other goals for the Canadiens, who increased their Atlantic Division lead to four points over Ottawa and five on Toronto. They are 3-7-1 in the last 11 games and 2-2-0 under new coach Claude Julien.

Carey Price stopped 32 shots for Montreal, including a breakaway by Auston Matthews in overtime. The 19-year-old Matthews scored twice to reach 30 goals in his rookie season, and Frederik Andersen was sharp with 25 saves for Toronto (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Noel scores 9 points, grab 10 boards in Mavs debut

Best of NBA: Noel scores 9 points, grab 10 boards in Mavs debut

DALLAS -- Harrison Barnes scored 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks ended a three-game losing streak by beating the New Orleans Pelicans 96-83 on Saturday night.

The Pelicans fell to 0-2 since trading for DeMarcus Cousins and pairing him with Anthony Davis.

Davis had 39 points and 14 rebounds but scored only 12 in the second half. Cousins finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Seth Curry scored 10 of his 13 in the fourth quarter to help Dallas pull away. His 3-pointer with 4:49 to play gave the Mavericks an 84-72 lead, and the Pelicans never got closer than six after that (see full recap).

Harden leads Rockets past Timberwolves in 142-130 shootout
HOUSTON -- James Harden had 24 points and 10 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 142-130 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves as both teams set season scoring highs in a Saturday night shootout.

Houston won for the sixth time in seven games, handing the Timberwolves their first road loss in more than three weeks.

Minnesota committed a season-high 25 turnovers that led to 38 points for the Rockets.

Playing against Houston's guard-heavy rotation, Minnesota went inside all night and outscored the Rockets 68-44 in the paint. Karl-Anthony Towns had 37 points and 22 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins added 30 points (see full recap).

Bulls benefit as James sits with strep, beat Cavs 117-99
CLEVELAND -- Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler recorded a triple-double, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 117-99 victory Saturday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who played without LeBron James.

James missed the game with strep throat, and coach Tyronn Lue said he wasn't sure how long the Cavaliers would be without the four-time MVP. Cleveland struggled as it often does without its star - they are 4-19 without him since he returned to Cleveland in 2014, including 0-4 this season.

Chicago has won all three games against Cleveland this season. It took advantage of James' absence to win its fourth straight overall (see full recap).

George ejected, Heat stay hot with 113-95 win over Pacers
MIAMI -- Paul George had another frustrating night in Miami.

Hassan Whiteside scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, Dion Waiters added 22 points and the red-hot Miami Heat pulled away late to beat the Indiana Pacers 113-95 on Saturday night. Miami outscored Indiana 42-22 in the final 16 minutes, all with George watching from the Pacers' locker room after an ejection.

"It felt like a playoff-type game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said (see full recap).