Saturday, July 10, 2010

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This blogger's favorite trio is me, myself, and I. The most recent media non-event since Geraldo Rivera opened "Al Capone's vault" in 1986 was Thursday night's hour-long show ("The Decision") on ESPN when pro basketball's LeBron James announced that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and joining the Miami Heat. Hold the telephones! The Miami Heat now will feature LBJ (as he's known to his posse), Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and two minimum-wage stiffs. This new NBA trimvirate inspired a Salt Lake City hip-hop artist to compile a list of the all-time threesomes in our cultural history. If this is (fair & balanced) number theory, so be it.

[x Salon]
The Greatest Trios In History
BY Chris Le

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Two might be company, but three, as the song goes, is the magic number. That's what the Miami Heat are hoping now that they've acquired the pricey trio of Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and reigning two-time MVP LeBron James. Luckily for the Heat, in basketball, the team with the three best players on the court stands a good chance of walking off as the victor.

This go-for-three philosophy isn't restricted to basketball. Or to sports, for that matter. From movies to musical troupes to deities and food — all things, good or bad, seem to be come in intervals of three.

We can only speculate if Miami's three-player cocktail will result in championship rings, but the hype will be justified if they are half as successful as these historic trios.

Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Structurally, they were the best trifecta in basketball history. Johnson was an anomaly of a point guard who stood 6-foot-9 but ran the up-tempo offense like nobody before or since. Worthy, a small forward who worked best in the fast break, was Magic's perfect complement. Underneath the basket stood Abdul-Jabbar, an aging but occasionally dominant post player. Every phase of the offense — points, pace, rebounding — was covered, and together they led the Los Angeles Lakers to three championships.

Their coach at the time? Current Miami Heat president Pat Riley. Riley is surely pleased with his current roster, but he'd probably trade for his Lakers trio in a heartbeat.

Not far behind the Lakers' three-headed monster are former Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson, who collected six titles in eight years. But you could pair Jordan with two water boys and still win six titles.

Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin

The recipe was simple: Quarterback Aikman handed off to running back Smith or passed to wide receiver Irvin, and what resulted were lots and lots of touchdowns. The Hall of Famers not only won three (there's that number again) Super Bowls, but restored the Dallas Cowboys to NFL prominence and re-earned the nickname of "America's Team."

Tinker to Evers to Chance

The Chicago Cubs shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance were synonymous with the prettiest sequence in all of sports: the double play. The threesome turned their first twin-killing on Sept. 3, 1902, the second time they ever played together, and never looked back.

The "Trio of Bear Cubs" made such a sweet combo that New York newspaper columnist Franklin Pierce Adams paid them tribute in the famous poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," in it coining the canonical phrase "Tinker to Evers to Chance."

The band Rush, themselves the "Holy Trinity" of rock bands, reference the poem in the liner notes of their 1993 album "Counterparts." Can you feel the trio love?

The Production Line

Gordie Howe, Sid Abel and Ted Lindsay of the Detroit Red Wings made up the most fearsome hockey unit of the late 1940s and early '50s and one of the most prolific scoring lines in history. Coach Tommy Ivan's strategy was a sure score: flank slowing future Hall of Famer Abel with the speedy Howe and Lindsay, who were also best friends.

The three would frequently stay long after practice was over, perfecting the nuances of what is known as the set play -- a nearly indefensible maneuver at the time using a speedy, three-pronged attack to draw the goalie away from the net.

The practice paid off. In 1950, making use of the set play, Lindsay, Abel and Howe took the three top spots in points, a feat never repeated in the NHL.

The Bee Gees

The high-pitched trio of brothers — Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibbs — were icons of the disco era with their hairy chests, tacky gold chains and classic songs like "Jive Talkin' " and the hopelessly romantic "How Deep Is Your Love?" With "Stayin' Alive," the theme to the 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever," the Bee Gees helped immortalize John Travolta's fleeting youthful cool — at least until 1979 when "Moment to Moment" came out.

When discussing musical trios it's blasphemous to leave out ZZ Top, the Supremes and the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Charlie's Angels

The 1970s show about three sultry private investigators kicking ass and fighting crime was one of the first instances in television history of women playing action heroes, roles historically dominated by burly meatheads or suave smooth talkers. The show was a monster hit, largely because of the three leading ladies. Farrah Fawcett used the show as a launching pad to become a sexual icon, but the oft-overlooked Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson also helped a generation of hippie boys discover puberty.

Unfortunately, bad things also come in threes. In June 2009, Fawcett died the same morning as Michael Jackson, one day after the world lost Ed McMahon — further cementing the theory that the Grim Reaper of celebrities is keen on the number "3."

The Big Three Automakers

The automotive troika of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler (aka the "Detroit Three") were once the largest automakers in the world and, with their unionized operations, a symbol of the hardworking people of America. But "the Big Three" has seen better days, having been leapfrogged in North American sales by overseas companies like Toyota.

But there's good news. In 2010, from January to May, average transaction prices increased 5.5 percent for Chrysler, 4.3 percent for Ford, and 3.8 percent for General Motors, according to

The "American Idol" Judges

The original judges -- Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson — did their part in propelling "American Idol" into a ratings juggernaut. Paula was either drunk or faux-crying. The awkwardness of Randy playing aging hipster combined with his rapid weight loss made for uncomfortable moments. And Simon, with his dated haircut and shrunken T-shirts, was visibly showing man-boobage. The three shattered the unintentional comedy scale on a weekly basis, creating can't-miss television.

That went out the window when Kara DioGuardi came on as the fourth judge in Season 8, and most recently, with Adbul's ho-hum replacement, Ellen DeGeneres. "Idol" is on life support now that Cowell has left the show &3151; kinda like the Cleveland Cavaliers without James. Ouch. Too soon, Cleveland?


The sandwich of all sandwiches. All the basic food groups — fruit, vegetable and protein — all in one neat little handful. Elegant in its simplicity, the BLT is easy to make, pairs with any occasion and, when properly prepared with quality ingredients, is a winner with both kids and adults. No wonder it's purported to be the second most popular sandwich in the United States, behind the overrated ham sandwich.

Foodie honorable mention goes to mirepoix, the French staple of diced onions, carrots and celery, which is the cooking base for hundreds of mommy's stews and stocks.

"Toy Story" Trilogy

"Toy Story" is the BLT of movies, accessible to both kids and adults like no other franchise. The candy-colored visuals enrapture children, the humor is appreciated even by middle-aged men, and the premise — that toys come to life when we aren't watching — is far too relatable. We've all been kids, after all.

Apologies to "The Godfather" and "Lord of the Rings" chauvinists, but "Toy Story" is the greatest trilogy in movie history. There's even statistical evidence: The Pixar movies just missed cinematic perfection with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 100, 100 and 99, respectively. No other trilogy comes close.

The Holy Trinity

God created existence, the Holy Ghost somehow conceived a child without intercourse, and Jesus saved all of humanity from eternal damnation. LeBron couldn't even save the city of Cleveland from a title drought. (Scoff.)

Also deserving recognition are the Three Wise Men, not to be confused with the drink — equal parts Jack Daniel's, Jim Bean, Jose Cuervo. A lesser-known fact: The Three Kings saved Jesus' life. They disobeyed the orders of Herod the Great, who, fearing threat to his throne, sent the wise men to find the child prophesied to be King of the Jews. Obviously, they didn't get back to Herod.

[Christopher Howard Le is a young graphic designer and independent music video director of Vietnamese descent. He was born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT and is known for applying a new twist to the hip-hop design industry. His work is known to have an epic feel with saturated colors, He includes abstract, classic ornamental designs in most of his work. He is also the owner and founder of C-Le GFX design studios located in Salt Lake City, UT.]

Copyright © 2010 Salon Media Group, Inc.

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Sapper's (Fair & Balanced) Rants & Raves by Neil Sapper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available here.

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