Here below is the list of the "Ten Toughest Athletes" as selected by the sports staff of USA Today. This list is totally nonsense and again a big smack upside the head to professional hockey. There are two golfers and only one hockey player on this list? This list is an irrational and poorly thought out idea of what constitutes "toughness".
Golfer Annika Sorenstam is a very fine lady and great golfer but please do not call her tough. This is political correctness gone amuck.
If you want a tough female athlete on the list put boxer Laila Ali on it. Jockey Julie Krone is a classy lady and tremendous competitor, but saying she's tougher than any professional boxer is screwy. Not having a boxer on this list is ridiculous.
It's hard to pick on Lance Armstrong, after all how many people defeat cancer and then achieve athletic success. But your normal 5-year old has more bumps and bruises than your average professional cyclist. Hockey is trivialized by USA Today. It's a sport few people have played competitively. But playing an 80+ game professional hockey season with its assault of stitches, knocked out teeth and concussions, i.e. "brain damage" is the ultimate tough sport. The speed, impact forces and risks involved in your average nightly NHL game completely dwarf all but some aspects of pro football.
No. 1: NFL's Brett Favre
No. 2: NBA's Allen Iverson
No. 3: NFL's Steve McNair
No. 4: Cycling's Lance Armstrong
No. 5: NFL's Ray Lewis
No.6: NHL's Scott Stevens
No. 7: Golfer Annika Sorenstam
No. 8: Golfer Tiger Woods
No. 9: NBA's Shaquille O'Neal
No. 10: Jockey Julie Krone
For toughness over time, Brett Favre is No. 1 [[USA Today]
Brett Favre not just the toughest football player in the NFL, but the toughest guy in America. [Men's Journal]
Friday, February 20, 2004