7. Otto Graham. Because I suppose I have to put . . .
8. Sammy Baugh. . . . the legends my grandfather talked about somewhere. (Okay, I'm kidding to a degree. The numbers Graham and Baugh put up were remarkable, and they deserve their esteemed place in the game -- even if the game they played was considerably less violent or complex than the NFL we know today.)
9. Steve Young. Superior statistically to his predecessor Montana, and the most efficient passer in league history, leading the NFL in quarterback rating a record six times. Plus, no list is complete without a southpaw.
10. Roger Staubach. After winning the Heisman in 1963, he spent five years in the Navy before even taking an NFL snap. His career was relatively short -- 11 seasons, from 1969-79 -- but he won three passing titles, led the "America's Team" Cowboys to a pair of championships during their '70s heyday, and remains one of the most admirable human beings in the league's history. (Yes, even though he played for Dallas.)
11. Brett Favre. All right, I suppose. But grant me this: If he'd played his entire career for Mike Holmgren -- the one coach who got him to play with discipline -- he might belong even higher than where King ranked him.
12. Dan Fouts. What? No Peyton Manning? How can that be? Because it's my list, dammit, that's why. Then again, I also consider John "J.J." Jefferson the greatest receiver I've ever seen . . . and with that, there goes all hope for credibility.
At least it was fun. Have at my list -- I know, I know, Peyton belongs in the top 10 -- and hit me with your choices in the comments.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.