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A Dispute over the Definition of the Word ‘Unacceptable’

Jan 3, 2012, 3:51 PM EDT

The Philadelphia Eagles' 8-8 season is unacceptable to owner Jeffrey Lurie...except for the ways in which it was acceptable.

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.