In an issue set to hit shelves next week, Men's Journal confirms what Green Bay Packers fans have known for years.
The magazine has labeled quarterback Brett Favre not just the toughest football player in the NFL, but the toughest guy in America.
Favre, 34, is coming off a 2003 football campaign in which he led the league with 32 touchdown passes and guided the Packers into the NFC Divisional Playoffs despite playing with a broken thumb on his throwing hand in all but six of the team's regular-season games.
Despite the injury, Favre never missed a start in 2003 and hasn't since he took over the starting job in 1992.
All together, Favre has played 210 consecutive games, including playoffs, which is an NFL record among quarterbacks.
By playing 191 consecutive regular-season games, Favre is also the Packers' record-holder in that category, having passed tackle Forrest Gregg (187) last season.
Favre wouldn't have surpassed Gregg's mark if not for his willingness to play a nationally televised game against the Oakland Raiders, Dec. 22, that kicked off just over 24 hours after the sudden death of his father, Irvin Favre.
The NFL's only three-time MVP, in being named No. 1 by Men's Journal Favre finishes ahead of ultimate fighter Matt Hughes, Sen. John McCain and Greco-Roman wrestler Rulon Gardner, among others listed by the publication.
Characteristics of tough guys, according to Men's Journal, include fearlessness, perseverance, a willingness to take risk, a tolerance for pain and even a dash of modesty.
Over the course of Favre's career, he has overcome several injuries including a first-degree separation of his left shoulder (1992), a deep thigh bruise (1993), a severely bruised left hip (1994), a severely sprained left ankle (1995), sprained right thumb (1999), right elbow tendonitis (2000), left foot sprain (2000) and a sprained lateral collateral ligament, left knee (2002).
To put Favre's durability in perspective, according to Elias Sports Bureau, 172 other quarterbacks have started an NFL game since Sept. 27, 1992, when Favre began his current -- and ongoing -- streak.
The Packers starting quarterback for 12 seasons confirmed last week that he intends to return in 2004 for a 13th season in Green Bay, his 14th in the NFL.