Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlo Ancelotti's left eyebrow, a higher standard of punditry, the rise of Charlie Austin...it's been a year to be celebrated in proper fashion...
Football is full of dull yes men; we want the paranoid, the ragers, the ravers, the weird, the creative and the downright unpleasant. And we definitely want the Brendan...
James Alexander Gordon has died. Since 1974, until last year, he'd read the football results at 5 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon with that famous rising and falling intonation which told you the result before he'd even finished the scoreline.
Mourning the passing of a man who was simply a voice to us, who belonged to a slower, less shallow era, an era not obsessed in the same way with personality and celebrity, might seem odd to a younger generation.
JAG had one job to do, to read the football results out. It doesn't sound much. it doesn't sound like the sort of thing that would endear you to several generations of football fans, but it really did.
Men like JAG were the fabric of our football world. The warp and weft on which the daily tapestry of the game is woven. Part of the rhythm of every season. Radio, being such an intimate medium, allows you to strike up a personal relationship with the speaker, and JAG was one of those voices who, after so many years, you felt you knew as well as a member of your own family.
In an ever-changing world, his voice was the very embodiment of a reassuring reliability. It took many of us from childhood, through our student years and into middle-age. Throughout, he was just always there.
In an era of profound changes in communication technology where information and disinformation is available instantly and in equal measure, his voice still carried gravitas and a paternalistic quality. You didn't mistrust the score he'd given you. If he'd read it out, it was for real.
We didn't know what he looked like. We didn't know anything about him. He was, quite simply, The Voice. Enjoyed, trusted and loved for nearly four decades by millions of football fans, perhaps, in a final tribute: James Alexander Gordon four, Other Announcers, nil.