A talented athlete is a rare thing indeed. An improbable double helix programmed for strength, speed, dexterity, coordination, balance, fervor and mental acuity.
Perhaps this is why athletes are paid ungodly sums, and millions of people watch them play every week.
Yet even more uncommon than a truly talented athlete is a family of truly talented athletes.
Or a dynasty of them.
Esteemed readers, click on and marvel at these fifty flourishing pools of robust genes.
Who are they? Peter Maivia (grandfather), Rocky Johnson (father), Dwayne Johnson, aka "The Rock" (son)
Of note: Lia Maivia, Dwayne's maternal grandmother, was a pioneering wrestling promoter, and allegedly a good fighter herself.
Who are they? Billie Jean King and Randy Moffitt (siblings)
Billie Jean is a tennis legend.
Randy is a former MLB pitcher.
Of Note: Bill Moffitt, the siblings father passed up an NBA tryout because he wanted a steady job to support his family.
Who are they? Cathy, Chris, and Allison (siblings)
Olympic Ice Dancers
Of Note: All three siblings are from the United States, but in the 2010 games Cathy and Chris competed for Japan, and Allison for the Republic of Georgia.
Who are they? Jack, Steve, and Jeff (siblings)
Fictional characters from the cult hockey movie "Slapshot"
Of Note: All three were played by real life NHL players.
David Hanson, the actor who played Jack, has a son Christian who plays for the Washington Capitals.
Who are they? Don (father), Matt (son) and Tim (son)
Of note: Matt played for the Seahawks along with Lofa Tatupu, another second generation NFL player.
Who are they? Pau and Marc
NBA players - Pau for the Lakers, Marc for the Grizzlies
Of note: The brother swap–Marc was traded for Pau (among others) by the Lakers.
Who are they? John and Jim (brothers)
NFL Head coaches
Of note: First brothers to serve as head coaches in the NFL
If the 2011 season NFC and AFC Championship Games had both gone the other way, the brothers would have coached against each other in Super Bowl XLVI.
Who are they? Jonny and Greg (brothers)
Olympic rowers - Gold medal at 1992 Games
Of note: Greg has come out of retirement and hopes to medal again in this year's Games
Who are they? Buddy (father), Rex and Rob (sons/fraternal twins)
Buddy is a former NFL head coach, Rex is a current NFL head coach, Rob is a current NFL defensive coordinator
Rex's NY Jets beat out Rob's Cowboys 27-24.
Who are they? Charles (father) and Chip (son)
Gold medal winning Olympic sprinters
Of note: In other sports endeavors, it is not uncommon to have a child follow in a parent's footsteps. But in track and field, it is very rare.
Chip and Charles were the first parent-child Olympic track and field stars since decathlete Ross Hodge ('64 Games) and high jumper mother Alice Arden ('36 Games).
Who are they? Dell (father), Sonya (mother), Stephen (son), Seth (son)
Dell played for the NBA, Sonya was a volleyball star at Virgina Tech, Stephen is a current NBA superstar, Seth currently plays for Duke
Of Note: Although both Dell and Sonya were big stars at Virgina Tech, Stephen was snubbed for a scholarship at the school.
Who are they? Eric, Marc, Jordan and Jared (brothers)
NHL players--"The first family of hockey"
Of note: There are so many Staals in the NHL that a Staal Brothers drinking game came about. See the rules here.
Who are they? Biser (grandfather), Borislav (father), Nikolay (son)
Bulgarian soccer players - all goal keepers
Of note: When Nikolay was honored as 2011 Bulgarian Football Player of the Year, his father, the Bulgarian Football Union president, presented the award.
Who are they? Tiki and Ronde (identical twins)
Of note: A combined 8 Pro Bowl selections, 6 All Pro selections, 2 Super Bowl appearances, 1 Super Bowl win (Ronde with Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII)
The twins starred in a funny Visa commercial that was later re-edited to include a reference to Ronde--and not Tiki--playing in the Super Bowl.
See both versions here.
Who are they? Randy (father) Ryan (son).
Of note: Not the first father/son MMA athletes, but, in the words of MMA writer Mike Chiappetta, "This is different. This is the son of MMA royalty."
Who are they? Vitali and Wladimir (brothers)
Of note: Vitali was named "Fighter of the Year" on January 19, 2012.
The brothers have vowed never to fight each other.
Who are they? Sterling and Shannon (brothers)
Former NFL stars
Of Note: First brothers to make the Pro Bowl in the same season.
Who are they? David and Mark (brothers)
Amateur wrestling champions
Of note: Among their accolades they have a combined 2 Olympic gold medals, 3 World Championship gold medals, 3 World Championship silver medals and 2 World Championship bronze medals.
Who are they? Sandy Sr. (father), Sandy Jr. (son) and Roberto (son)
Of Note: Combined they played in 5,237 major league games and have 19 All-Star selections.
Who are they? Nasrullah, (grand sire), Bold Ruler (sire), Somethingroyal (dam), Secretariat (foal)
Elite Thoroughbred racehorses
Of note: Bold Ruler lost the Belmont Stakes to a horse named Gallant Man in 1957. In that run, Gallant Man set the record, which held until Secretariat obliterated it in 1973.
Who are they? Jack and Bobby (brothers)
Former pro soccer players
Of note: The only two brothers ever to both play on a World Cup-winning team (England 1966).
Of note: Stu Hart's eight sons all worked in the wrestling industry in some capacity. His four daughters all married wrestlers.
Who are they? Johny (father) Fränk (son) and Andy (son)
Of note: The brothers came in second and third place in the 2011 Tour de France
Who are they? Gus (grandfather), Buddy (father), David (son), Mike (son)
Of note: First three-generation family to play for the same major league team (Gus, Buddy and Mike).
Who are they? Rick (father), Brent (son), Drew (son) and Jon (son)
Of Note: The Barrys have played in more than 40 combined NBA seasons.
Who are they? Yao Zhiyuan (father), Fengdi Fang (mother), Yao Ming (son), Ye Li (Yao Ming's wife)
Yao Zhiyuan, Fendi Fang, and Ye Li were professional basketball players in China.
Yao Ming was an NBA superstar.
Of Note: As Yao Ming was growing, Fengdi Fang had trouble getting enough food for him. She took to buying from street vendors as they were packing up for the night--and usually got a good deal.
Who are they? Kellen (father) Kellen, Jr. (son)
NFL tight ends (former and current)
Of note: The elder Kellen is a Hall-of-Famer and helped revolutionize the way tight ends are utilized in the pro passing attack today.
Who are they? Bengie, José, and Yadier (brothers)
Of note: Only trio of brothers in the major leagues to have each won a World Series ring
Who are they? Clay Sr. (grandfather), Clay Jr. (son), Bruce (son), Clay III (grandson)
Of note: Despite three generations of star players and countless accolades, the family couldn't boast a Super Bowl ring among their possessions until Clay III played for the Packers in Super Bowl XLV.
Who are they? Sam (father), Jerry Sr. and John (sons), Jerry Jr. and Scott (grandsons)
Of note: The biggest major league baseball family in history.
Who are they? Joe (grandfather), Joe Jr., (father), Casey
Of note: First third-generation pitching family in the major leagues.
Who are they? Justin and B.J (brothers)
Of note: They are the two highest-drafted brothers ever in major league baseball.
Who are they? Félix Sr. (father), Félix Jr. (son)
Of note: Tito (Félix Jr.) is trained and managed by his father who was a featherweight champion in Puerto Rico in the 1970s.
Who are they? Joe (father), Kobe (son)
Joe is a retired NBA player and WNBA coach, Kobe is an NBA superstar
Of note: Joe just took on a new coaching gig with the Bangkok Cobras in Thailand.
Who are they? Bobby (father) and Barry (son)
Of note: Between the two of them, they have 17 All-Star selections, 11 Golden Gloves, 1,094 career home runs, 975 stolen bases, and a ridiculous amount of other accolades.
Who are they? Bob and Mike (identical twins)
Dominant Force in Doubles Tennis
Of note: They are the winningest men’s doubles team of the Open era.
Who are they? Cecil (father) and Prince (son)
MLB super sluggers
Of note: In January of 2012, Prince shocked the MLB and his dad, by signing with the Detroit Tigers (dad's old team).
They are the only father-son combo to both hit at least 50 home runs in a season.
Who are they? Floyd Sr., Roger and Jeff (brothers), Floyd Jr.
Picture here is Floyd Jr. with Uncle Roger
Of Note: The 2 generations of fighters have a combined 89 career KOs.
Who are they? Cheryl, Reggie, and Darrell (siblings)
Cheryl and Reggie are basketball dynamos, Darrell played in the MLB.
Of note: Reggie claims that his childhood one-on-one games against Cheryl were key in developing his trademark rainbow jump shot.
Who are they? Vince, Joe and Dom (brothers)
MLB center fielders
Of note: 22 combined All-Star selections
There were five brothers in all. The Dimaggio father hoped they would follow in the family trade and become fishermen.
Instead, the patriarch had to settle for this (as put by New York Times): "[Joe Dimaggio] symbolized the [Yankees'] dynastic success across the 20th century and whose 56-game hitting streak in 1941 made him an instant and indelible American folk hero."
Who are they? Leon and Michael (brothers), Leon Jr., Darrel, Cory (Leon's sons), Leon III (Leon's grandson)
Of note: What other family can count beating Ali and Holmes among their accomplishments?
Who are they? Mack and Jackie
Olympic sprinter and baseball star
Of note: Mack won a silver medal in the 200m in the 1936 Olympics. He was just behind the legendary Jesse Owens.
Jackie, of course, was the first player to break the color barrier in major league baseball.
Jackie and Mack are honored with 2700 pound sculptures (pictured above) in front of Pasadena City Hall.
Who are they? Ralph (grandfather), Dale (father), Kerry (son), Dale Jr. (son and half-brother to Kerry), Jeffrey (grandson of Dale)
Of note: Budweiser created an ad to honor the Earnhardts multi-generational successes.
It begins: "Seems like ever since there's been a NASCAR, there's been an Earnhardt racing in it."
Watch it here.
Who are they? Muhammad (father) and Laila (daughter)
Both were boxers, Muhammed was a legend, icon, and hero on top of that.
Of note: When Laila met Jacqui Frazier-Lyde (Joe Frazier's daughter) in the ring in 2001, it was the fourth bout of a multi-generational grudge match.
Laila won making the tally 3 for the Alis and 1 for the Fraziers.
Who are they? Brent, Brian, Darryl, Duane, Rich, and Ron (all brothers), Brandon (son of Brent), and Brett (son of Darryl)
Of note: All but Rich and Brandon played for the Calgary Flames at one time.
The original 6 brothers have 6 Stanley Cups between them.
Additionally, Brent and Darryl both currently coach in the NHL, Duane is a scout for the Oilers, and Ron has an administrative role with the Flames.
Who are they? Gordie (father), Marc (son), and Marty (son)
Of note: Gordie Howe is often listed among the top 5 hockey players of all time with Gretzky, Orr, Lemieux and Hull.
Who are they? Cal Sr. (father), Cal Jr. (son), Billy (son)
MLB coach and players, the faces of the Baltimore Orioles
Of note: Cal Sr. was the only father to have managed two sons in the major leagues simultaneously.
Who are they? Bobby and Dennis (brothers), Brett (Bobby's son)
Of note: Bobby and Brett are the only father-son tandem to each score 600+ goals in the NHL.
Who are they? Archie (father), Peyton (son), Eli (son)
Divine Troika of NFL QBs
Of note: Constant debate about which Manning son is better and why. It will probably go on for years.
Have an opinion? Weigh in with your comments.