Anyone that has paid even the least amount of attention to the sports world in the past year has heard about the Miami Heat's "Big Three." Everyone has their own opinion of LeBron James' decision to join fellow "superstars" D-Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach, Fla., but some are listened to more than others.
Shaquille O'Neal, the recent retiree/future Hall of Fame center, voiced his belief that Bosh is not, in fact, worthy of the superstar title and that the Heat should simply be known as the "Big Two."
The qualifications of a "Big Three" have been highly debated, but whatever the case, it is a fact that such consolidation of star power is more prevalent in every major sport except professional football. This is partly because of the NFL's tight salary cap and the fact that 22 players are needed to field a team.
There are no squads in the league that are "stacked" or overflowing with talent, but if one had to be named, it would be the world champion Green Bay Packers.
Several top-notch performers will be returning to the Packers' offensive lineup in 2011 and it also improved as much as possible through the draft. Even so, the Pack Attack still doesn't include more than one of the league's top five players. Not unless Andre Johnson or Adrian Peterson can manage to team up with Aaron Rodgers.
Football has more than twice as many positions as basketball and each requires a different set of skills, so we will make it simple.
Who are the top three stars on the Packers offense? If Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy were forced to release every starter but three, whom would they keep to rebuild around?
Rodgers is the obvious choice, not only because he plays the most important position but also because he's elevated himself alongside the NFL's top quarterbacks in just three seasons and has a Super Bowl MVP to show for it.
Beyond his ability to extend plays and toss the pigskin with pinpoint accuracy, Rodgers is a sensational leader and makes his teammates better when he has the ball in his hands.
One of those teammates is Greg Jennings, who is my second choice. Jennings has been with the Pack for five years and has rattled off three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with Rodgers behind center, creating the league's current top passing tandem. He also received his first Pro Bowl invitation in 2010 with more likely on the way.
The first two members of the Packers' offensive "Big Three" were easy to see, but who should round out the triple threat?
It is unclear how Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley will return from their injuries. Donald Driver is closer to retirement than another full season and James Jones won't play another snap in Green Bay. So is the offensive line the only place to turn?
I'll leave the third spot up to debate, but if I had to choose I would select Finley. The 24-year-old tight end has yet to play a full season, but when he does there's little doubt he will finally breakout and release his potential. The only thing that can prevent his size and athleticism from translating into a top pass-catching end is injury.
I'm sure Rodgers would likely tell you that Jennings and Finley are his favorite targets, especially after all of Jordy Nelson's drops in the Super Bowl. In all seriousness, Nelson may turn out to be worth more than both of them in the future.
Let's just hope those guys will all be on the field together again this season. Forget a "Big Three"—Packers fans should be expecting a "Big 11" in 2011.