Does Tom Hanks' new movie have some competition? Let’s find out.
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5 - Philip Sheridan
Toughness level: Old Timey Tough Guy
Legacy: Featured on two different $10 bills, in 1890 and 1891.
Achievements: A Union general in the Civil War, Sheridan was a hardcase of some renown. He deflected Brigadier General James R. Chalmers’ cavalry at the Battle of Booneville, scared away the Confederates at the Battle of Perryville, held off overwhelming forces at the Battle of Stones River, and broke through enemy lines at the Battle of Chattanooga – all of which took place in just 18 short months. He was later instrumental in the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s army, and described by Ulysses S. Grant himself as having, “no superior as a general, either living or dead, and perhaps not an equal.” His post-Civil War career was a little more varied – he helped create Yellowstone Park (hooray!), but he also wiped out countless Native Americans during the Indian Wars, with the phrase, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” still widely associated with him (not-hooray). After his death, his wife said of him, “I would rather be the widow of Philip Sheridan than the wife of any man living,” and that is just heartbreakingly awesome.
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4 - Philip II of France
Toughness level: Medieval
Legacy: Got mentioned in a Maxim article about tough dudes named Philip.
Achievements: The King of France from 1180 to 1223, Philip, unusually for a Frenchman, really seemed to enjoy a good fight. After first scuffling with his fellow countrymen (specifically, another Philip (of Alsace), after a dispute about ownership of the Vermandois), he set his sights on England, warring with Henry II and eventually beating him by joining forces with Henry’s son, Richard - better known as one Richard the Lionheart. He then embarked on the Third Crusade with Richard, although he bowed out after becoming stricken with dysentery. Once home, he went back to beefing with England, engaging in several conflicts first with Richard’s armies, then with those of his successor, King John. In 1214, at the Battle of Bouvines, Philip’s army of 15,000 men decisively defeated an alliance of English, German, and Flemish forces numbering around 25,000, which any historian will tell you is an impressive feat of ass-kickery. This victory cemented the power of the French monarchy forever after…well, until the French Revolution at least, which, it’s fair to say, did not go particularly well for anyone wearing a crown.
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3 - Phil “New York Badass” Baroni
Toughness level: MMA Monster
Legacy: He’s “the best eeevvvvaaaaa!!!”
Achievements: This. Holy fucking fuckballs of the apocalypse, that is a lot of punches to the face:
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2 - Philip II of Macedon
Toughness level: Godlike
Legacy: Worshipped as a hero (and possibly even deified) after his death.
Achievements: Ol’ Phil was father to none other than Alexander the Great, one the single greatest commanders in the history of warfare, so you can bet Dad’s balls were made of some pretty stern stuff. Philip himself was no slouch when it came to a scrap; raised as a hostage in Thebes, he returned to take over his kingdom in 359 BCE and took on the Athenians, the Illyrians, the Thracians, the Phocians, the Ardiaeli, the Scythians, and many others who would defy both Philip and our spell check, crushing them all with his military genius. He also made a good start on kicking the crap out of the Persians, but was assassinated before he could complete his stomping. The one nation he threatened but never actually attacked was Sparta. Legend has it, his message to Sparta claimed, “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.” The Spartans, being history’s ultimate badasses, replied with a single word: “If.”
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1 - Punxsutawney Phil
Toughness level: Immortal
Legacy: Sharing a fiery explosion with Bill Murray, AKA, the exact way every man hopes he’ll one day die.
Achievements: The psychic, weather-predicting groundhog has, according to Punxsutawney legend, been alive for 123 years, due to his annual imbibing of “Groundhog Elixir,” a substance that mystically lengthens his life. This means that not only is Phil essentially immortal, he is also, going by the name of his magic potion, regularly drinking the liquidized remains of his fellow groundhogs. If there’s a tougher Phil out there than this, we don’t even want to know about it.