If you want an idea as to how influential and important sports commentary is, consider this nugget from Zinedine Zidane's childhood. His childhood obsession with football bloomed when watching the football programme Telefoot on French television, which he would watch mere inches from the screen. He was not attracted to the spectacle, but the sound: he listened intently to the voice of commentator Pierre Cangioni, following not his words but the tone, the accent, the atmosphere.
It is a rare talent, but a few commentators found the words to wield the matter this year, perfectly capturing some moments of towering achievement.
Here are our picks for the best commentary moments of 2017.
Michael Duignan as Galway win the All-Ireland hurling final
Having been tangled with some off-the-field guff this year, Michael Duignan reminded RTE viewers that he is a genuinely good man with an emotional tribute to Tony Keady upon full-time of the All-Ireland hurling final.
Marty, Unbelievable. Just Tony Keady, Marty, I had such time for the man. At half-time, we were looking at the piece on him there. It's so heartbreaking for him and his family...
Whether it was Waterford or Galway today, what it means to both those counties... I'm looking over here at John Mullane and he's heartbroken.
I'm heartbroken for the people of Waterford but I'm delighted for the people of Galway. That's always the way it was going to be today, what an occasion. What an emotional day.
You can listen to it below.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) September 3, 2017
George Hamilton as James McClean scores against Wales
Okay, the year has been sullied by the implosion against Denmark, but Ireland's win in Wales was a genuinely great moment, with the winning goal one of considerable quality.
James McClean's goal was met with a perfect Hamilton pitch, along with an added flourish: "The hero of Vienna thrusts a sword through the dragon's heart in Cardiff'.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) October 9, 2017
Willie Hegarty as Roscommon stretch the limits of human enthusiasm
Willie Hegarty is one of the great local commentators this country has produced, and he was at his volcanic best as Roscommon shocked Galway in this year's Connacht final.
Panama TV commentators as they qualify for the World Cup
The U.S. surprisingly missed out on qualification for the World Cup, and their loss proved to be Panama's magnificent, unprecedented gain. The wild, teary warblings of their commentary team summed up the splendid stupor of a nation.
Egyptian TV commentators as Mo Salah seals World Cup qualification
Egypt haven't been at a World Cup since 1990, at which you remembered they teamed up with Ireland to serve up The Worst Game in World Cup History.
In spite of largely dominating the African Cup of Nations in the noughties, they contrived to miss out on FIFA's quadrennial jamboree...until this year, as Mo Salah kept his nerve to convert a penalty.
Cue the meeting of tears and microphone.