Toughest of the tough?

Two national publications - Men's Journal and USA Today - have chosen one NFL player as the toughest of the tough - quarterback Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers.<p>

It's not hard to see why No. 4 received the accolade. He's physically tough. Remember the sore thumb on his throwing hand he played with all of last season and still finished with more TD passes than anyone (32)? And he's mentally tough. Who can forget his 22-of-30, 399-yard, four-TD performance in Oakland last season the night after his father died?

"In 12 seasons with the Packers, Favre has known as much pain and glory as any athlete of his generation," wrote Men's Journal in its "25 Toughest Guys in America" article.

USA Today? It picked Favre as the toughest athlete in sports today, and two other NFL players in the top five of the category -- Baltimore LB Ray Lewis, No. 5 and Tennessee QB Steve McNair, No. 3. The NFL was the only sport with three players in USA's "10 Toughest Athletes" rankings.

USA Today's reasoning on Favre?

"The physical beatings don't keep him out," said USA. "He shrugs off injuries. The mental pressures seem not to faze him as he takes another snap and fires a spiral through Lambeau's swirling gusts."


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