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The Loop

How overused is the phrase "Big 3"? Let's count the ways

September 03, 2015

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A month ago, golf boasted two heavyweights: Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, a duo that had won four of the past five majors. Following his victory at Whistling Straits, along with his recent hot streak, Jason Day has inserted himself into this conversation, meaning golf now has a "Big 3."

Which, for those keeping score at home, is different than last year's "Big 3" of McIlroy, Spieth and Rickie Fowler.

Confused? It's not your fault.

Because our culture is degenerating into an unimaginative, copycat bunch, this trio-themed nickname is far from a singular title. Quite the opposite. For clarification, here is a totally official list of other "Big 3s."

The Big 3 Festivus Traditions

Airing of Grievances, Feats of Strength, Aluminum Pole

Allegedly, the pole is not to be used during the Feats of Strength, but, as I told my friend Brian on the way to the emergency room, he should have aired that grievance during the designated time.

The Terrible Late-Night Decisions Big 3

Taco Bell, calling an ex, making a bet

Let's put it this way: If 53-year-old Herschel Walker ever comes out of retirement and scores a touchdown, I'm going to be a very rich man.

The "Is this hell? I think I'm in hell" Big 3

Standstill lines, your favorite sports team losing to its rival, any Taylor Swift song

Twenty years ago, this would have included something about in-laws, but you don't hear as much complaining about a significant other's family nowadays. That, or the joke, like airport observations, became so overused that we all agreed to shut up about it.

The Big 3 Regrettable Facial Hair Styles

Soul patch, chin strap, goatee

In the words of Ron Swanson, "If you have to sculpt it, that means you probably can't grow it."

The Big 3 of World War II

United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union

Before we Americans start telling the Brits that we saved their behinds in WWII, keep in mind they came to our rescue in WWIII.

The "These Guys Don't Age" Big 3

Paul Rudd, Tony LaRussa, Greg Gumbel

I'm 84-percent convinced that CBS keeps Gumbel in a cryogenic chamber from the end of March Madness until football season.

The Big 3 Foods of Thanksgiving

Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Pie

My friend nominated cranberry sauce. I thought that garbage was strictly used by the government as an interrogation scare.

The "I Know It's a Rom-Com, But This Movie Is Pretty Good" Big 3

Say Anything, 500 Days of Summer, Before Sunset

Don't get me started on The Notebook. That film has three glaring issues: 1) Ryan Gosling is an introverted, quiet fellow while James Garner is a gregarious man. They're playing the same person, it's a break in character development! 2) Am I supposed to feel bad for Rachel McAdams? Oh, so you can marry rich, handsome James Marsden or a handsome, allegedly-lower-class-but-lives-in-a-refurbished-mansion Gosling? You poor thing. 3) The movie should have ended with (SPOILER) the grandma remembering the story was about her.

Um, not that I've thought about this or anything.

The Big 3 Philosophers

Plato, Aristotle, Charles Barkley

One said, "Courage is knowing what not to fear." Another noted,"Love is a single soul inhabiting two bodies." The third remarked, "The only difference between a good shot and a bad shot is if it goes in."

Powerful reasoning, indeed.

Big 3 Dream Cars

Bat tumbler, DeLorean, Oscar Meyer Weinermobile

Honorable mention goes to the Blues Mobile and anything in James Bond's garage.

Big 3 of Break-up Excuses

I like you as a friend, It's not you its me, I'm too busy with work

Yes, I've been told all three throughout my life. Why do you ask?

Big 3 Facebook Plagues

Baby pics, people "liking" their own post, political rants

I took a screenshot of this axis of evil joining forces -- a friend's wife was at a presidential nominee's rally with their one-year-old and gave her run-down of the event the ole' thumbs-up -- but this particular guy throws a dope Super Bowl party, and didn't want to jeopardize my invite. Journalistic integrity is dead.

Ice Cream's Big 3

Cookie dough, mint, chocolate chip

Vanilla and chocolate? The world's evolved since 1950, my friend.

MTV Cribs' Big 3

Scarface poster, movie theater, clearly rented cars

According to my brother, this show hasn't been on the air for five years. Next thing he's going to tell me is Carson Daly isn't cool anymore.

However, all these triumvirates fall short of...

Golf's Original Big 3

Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Palmer

These Hall-of-Famers combined for 36 major titles. Given McIlroy, Spieth and Day have seven at the moment, perhaps we should wait until this current trio hits double-digits before bestowing the "Big 3" status.