Behind every great man, there's a great sandwich. When done well, a hunk of meat slapped between two slices of bread can ignite passion from within, inspiring man to move mountains, swim oceans and unbutton his pants -- all for the sake of the lunchtime staple.

The McRib is one of those sandwiches.

The elusive hoagie, McDonald's boneless pork patty slathered with onions, pickles and a tangy BBQ sauce, is usually only offered in limited markets for short periods of time.

But now (through Dec. 5), the Bigfoot of fast food returns nationwide. No market will be left un-McRib-bed.

In honor of the launch, McDonald's threw a party this week, celebrating the McRib, as well as the men who hold it in such high regard.

Keep reading to meet three superfans who've dedicated parts of their lives and most of their cholesterol levels to the legendary sandwich.

Joey Erwin, Mr. McRibJoey Erwin, "Mr. McRib"

Superfan Credentials: For the last 10 years, Erwin has eaten a McRib sandwich for lunch every day when they're in season. His co-workers, noticing his penchant for the sammy (and probably the BBQ-sauce-stained office supplies), dubbed him "Mr. McRib" and created a Facebook fan page to help him keep track of his gluttonous accomplishments. So far, he's estimated that he's ingested around 300 McRibs.

On DIY McRibs: "The McRib didn't come to [my hometown of] Greenville, South Carolina, at all last year, which was really depressing. So that's when I started trying to make my own McRib, without much success. Wal-Mart sells a frozen riblet sandwich that looks sort of like a McRib. So I took it home, got some pickles and tried to dress it up to make it look like the real deal. I sat down, bit into it, and it just didn't do the job. It was enough to get me by, but it wasn't the same."


Adam Winer, McRib SuperfanAdam Winer, McRib Road Tripper

Superfan Credentials: Living in the McRib-barren land of New York City, Winer had gone 15 years without eating a boneless rib hoagie. So, when a McRib hankering became too strong to bear, he flew to Chicago. From there, he embarked on a road trip to St. Louis, stopping to eat the sandwich at every McDonald's along the route.

The McBirth: "During my road trip, I talked to McDonald's original head chef -- he's the guy who invented Chicken McNuggets. When the McNuggets first debuted, all the franchises wanted them, and McDonald's couldn't get enough chicken to meet the demand, so he had to invent another product to give to franchises that couldn't get McNuggets. The substitute he came up with? The McRib."


Alan Klein, McRib LocatorAlan Klein, Creator of the McRib Locator

Superfan Credentials: For this man, hunger is the mother of invention. Klein created the McRib Locator website two years ago, when he and his friends were hunting for McRibs but didn't know which McDonald's offered them at the time. He sprung into action with a Google Map of user-generated sandwich sightings. Next up for Klein? A McRib Locator iPhone app. (You'll finally get some use out of that gadget!)

Will Travel for Pork: "The furthest I've driven for a McRib sandwich is about four hours. I had family in that area, so I swung over to see them -- but the McRib was the incentive for the trip."