Word on the Street

Feel-good Loss (fel good lahs) phrase. A loss that provides some measure of hope and optimism for the future, such as a narrow defeat to a vastly superior team.

Usage example:The Bulls may have lost to the Mavericks in Dallas, but it took 44 points from Dirk Nowitzki and an improbable three-pointer by Jason Kidd to do it. So you can chalk that one up as a feel-good loss.”

Word history: The term was used recently by Al Harrington after his Knicks were beaten in New York by LeBron James’ historic not-quite-a-triple-double. Said Al: “This is one of the games where you can say it’s a feel-good loss. The two times we played them before, they blew us out of the building in the first half. But I think we’re showing our growth. We played well.” (Wow. Can I get a “Yay, team!”?)

However, even though Harrington’s quote brought the phrase to my attention, it’s not a new one. A quick Google search uncovered several instances of the term “feel-good loss” (for example: here and here).

Word usuage: I would say that, typically speaking, a true feel-good loss should be indicative of a team’s general upward trend. In that spirit, I’m not sure the Knicks’ narrow loss to the Cavaliers is representative, since it was followed up by feel-bad losses to the Celtics and Trail Blazers. And in the latter defeat, New York had to rally from a 17-point third-quarter deficit and then blew a 13-point lead in the last eight minutes (which included getting outscored 8-0 in the final 1:54) before losing 109-108 on a buzzer-beating finger roll by Brandon Roy. But there’s more. As Dr. Henry Pym pointed out in an email: “The Knicks HAD A FOUL TO GIVE when they let Brandon Roy hit that buzzer beating layup. Seriously, how stupid can Mike D’Antoni BE?!” Yeah. I’m guessing Al isn’t feeling so good right now.

Synonyms: Losses That Aren’t As Bad As Others, moral victory.


Labels: Jason Kidd / Dirk Nowitzki / Al Harrington / LeBron James / Brandon Roy / Mike D’Antoni / Cleveland Cavaliers / Boston Celtics / Portland Trail Blazers / New York Knicks / Chicago Bulls / Dallas Mavericks / Word on the Street


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