Not just the most dramatic end to a football match that we'll ever see, or even the most dramatic end to a football match that anyone will ever see, but the single most dramatic, consuming event that most of us will ever see in the course of our lives. United: the vaguely acceptable face of mania, obsession and ecstasy.
November is the focus so, naturally, it's worth looking at a game played in December. The 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane was a disappointment, though, yes, it doesn't much sound like one: but, given the points Manchester United dropped prior, a win was as necessary as one can be around this point of the season.
Every United fan has their favourite player in the squad. For some, it's Robin van Persie, the man who gave Alex Ferguson a fitting send-off, and who made Wayne Rooney look like the waste of skin he is. For others, it's Rooney himself, seeking to prove that running about a lot for a whole match will adequately replace things like a first touch, creativity, or being able to pass over a distance over longer than 10 yards.
If Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography proves anything about his time in charge then it's that we were truly blessed. During his 27 years at Old Trafford, United played, for the most part, expansive, attacking football utilising some of the finest players ever to have graced these shores.
Ferguson has repeatedly stated how fortunate he feels to have had so many great footballers in his charge, and picking a best team of his managerial reign is no simple task.
David Moyes told us in September that he is "learning every week", and some of that, now with October gone, has shown. Though, yes, the month could have been a lot more favourable to United, Moyes can reflect on a job done better.
Of course, a job done 'better' is different to one done 'well' – it would have been a bit of a disaster had September reflected more positively on last year's champions.
As the Moyes regime begins to take shape, it is a time for United fans to reminisce and remember the good times. Now, we all know the title race isn't over and a new manager needs time to settle, but the retirement of Fergie himself was the final stage of the clubs transition; one that has seen the club regress.
"Our goal is to try to bring a calm and simplicity to what are incredibly complex problems so that you're not aware really of the solution, you're not aware of how hard the problem was that was eventually solved." Jonathan Ive
As with any sport, football lends itself to classification.
Everybody makes mistakes. Even Alex Ferguson, even Miley Cyrus. David Moyes, however, can't take a step without stepping into dog turd. A professional manager, you wouldn't necessarily believe it. However, it's apparently too early to call for his head regardless of whether or not you thought he was the wrong choice in the first place.
Soon after he announced his decision to retire, I was asked to compile my best XI of the Ferguson era. Of course these things are entirely subjective and possibly pointless but that doesn't stop them being quite good fun. It was an easier task than I'd anticipated and, after due consideration, I went for Schmeichel in goal, a back four of Neville, Ferdinand, Stam and Irwin, a midfield comprising Ronaldo, Keane, Scholes and Giggs then Cantona and Van Nistelrooy up front.
You hear it a lot, and will probably hear it a lot more, but managing Manchester United is not the "impossible job". It's a difficult one, of course, exclusive to those who have learned, then earned. It's the pinnacle for a lot of people, but, it's only the pinnacle, only something to work to because, well, it's not impossible.
6-1, 5-1, 4-1. Playing Manchester City and getting tonked by them is actually a fairly regular occurrence these days. But way before then, it didn't help that Manchester United were rubbish. It didn't help that any team can have an off day. It didn't help that Manchester City have recently been able to play really, really well.
Writing The Month at the start of the year – 2013, in case you forgot – was easy. The column started in January, not August of 2012, and that meant last season's uncertainty period was pretty much skipped over. In years previous, that uncertainty period would have ended a lot later, but things were looking so good for Manchester United by the time the first column appeared (seven points clear at the top) that there was never any need to be panicky.
When David Moyes hit out at the Premier League a couple of weeks ago, suggesting a "conspiracy against United" in terms of our opening run of fixtures in the new campaign (I think we all know that run now: Swansea, Chelsea, Liverpool, Palace, City), he may have been continuing a fine tradition of controlled paranoia which Fergie used to use as a tool for constructing that famous Old Trafford siege mentality.
On July 4th, Jack Crompton, the last living link to Manchester United's 1948 FA Cup winning side past away.
Jack was 91 years young, the goalkeeper in that first post-war trophy winning team, a gentleman, a truly likable man, who still found pleasure in watching his beloved United, in particular the Reserves, and would often be seen in attendance with his wife Sheila.
Manchester United beat Kitchee FC 5-2 in their final game of the pre-season tour of the East and Anderson got a rare 90 minute run out. That game marked the six year anniversary of Anderson Luis de Abreu Oliveira being granted a work permit to play in the UK, and four days later the boy from Brazil officially became a Manchester United player.
Every football fan, no matter which team they support, believes they are in some way special. A combination of history, tradition, romance and personal mythology lead to the feeling that the supporter has a unique bond with the club, something others couldn't possible understand much less emulate.
Robin Van Persie
Shut up, I'm not crying
Has a striker ever been able to be so calm about taking just so many touches in the box? Has a striker ever been this saucily impressive in his first season?
United fans might argue over the merits of one salt-and-pepper fox, Jose Mourinho, but we're all agreed about another.
Everyone has their favourite player. Many make their preference known by forking out a few extra pounds when purchasing a replica shirt and having the name of that particular individual emblazoned across the back.
If replica shirts were part of a supporters match day attire back in the early seventies, rather than tartan scarves and a number of similar items dangling from both wrists, then the club shop would have to have stocked up on five letters more than any others, as the name of one player would have been on prominent display across the back of those shirts.
Mention the Cliff to the majority of those (I almost said supporters) who visit Old Trafford on a match day during this and recent seasons and they would more than likely get the impression that you were making a reference to some aging pop-star. But for others, who take pride in the history of United and care more about the likes of Stan Pearson, David Pegg and Duncan Edwards than they do any of the present carriers of the flame, then the Cliff re-kindles memories of a bygone age.
Around midnight, a knock came to the door of No.9 Archie Street a nondescript house like many others on the Ordsall Estate, a short walk from Old Trafford. There were similar unwanted knocks at other doors in the Manchester, Yorkshire and Ireland.
Answering the door, Dick Colman came face to face with an airline official, who told him that his son had died instantly in the crash and that a plane would convey next-of-kin to Germany in the morning.
How can you not love a man who invites the opposition to suck upon his imaginary lady parts before the biggest game of his career? If you look hard enough you'll find decade-old footage of a shirtless Evra demanding Frank Lampard do just that. It was prior to the Champions' League semi-final against Chelsea in 2004, and to the best of my knowledge no pussies were harmed in Monaco's safe passage to the final.
He was not, as some tributes suggested, the complete midfielder. There were things he struggled with. As was well documented, he couldn't really tackle. He rarely beat a man for pace. He didn't quite have the stamina of other midfield greats. For all this, when I was recently informed that I had been uttering the words, ‘Paul Scholes was better' in my sleep, I knew instantly that, whoever my advisory had heralded, I was probably correct.
It doesn't need a complicated introduction, so it isn't going to get one.
Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United 11 May 1996
Liverpool Football Club are a special football club. They used to be undeniably one of the greatest clubs around and produced some of the greatest sides in English and European football history.
The findings of a study into the long-term effects on the brain of heading footballs were published this week in the online journal Radiology. According to the report, footballers who head the ball with "high frequency" show piss-poor performance in memory tests, and have "brain abnormalities similar to those found in traumatic brain injury patients.
Last night I was fortunate enough to be one of the few people to see the live screening of the new United film, Class of 92, which focuses on our Youth Cup winning side of 1992.
Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville tell the story of their careers, which is all building up to that incredible Treble winning season in 1999.
July 11th 2000: Inter president confirms £31m offer for Paul Scholes
"Yes it is true. The story is correct. We are very much interested in signing Paul Scholes. Unfortunately for us, it appears Manchester United are not prepared to release Scholes at the moment. It is going to be very hard for us to get him.
Judging on his performances so far this season, Wayne Rooney has justified the club's decision to keep hold of him in the summer after some interest from Chelsea and Arsenal. Both Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho confirmed their desire to sign the player but in the end the most either club were prepared to offer was £24m.
David Moyes has been in for plenty of stick already this season, some of it warranted, some of it not so much, but we had to know this was going to happen. Whoever got the job, their every move would be under a microscope, and some managers would be easier to scrutinise than others.
Jose Mourinho got sent to the stands last weekend, suggesting that just eight games in he isn't quite The Happy One he tried to convince of us he was.
David Moyes, in true Fergie style, has hinted towards some sort of Premier League conspiracy in relation to the difficult fixtures United have at the start of the season, claiming our former manager told him adjustments are made to the randomly chosen fixtures.
"Well the old manager told me those sort of things happened," said Moyes, "I think it's the hardest start for 20 years that Manchester United have had.
Last night was one of five evenings that Sir Alex Ferguson will spend with fans to promote his new autobiography. 1,700 people packed out The Lowry, after tickets were sold out in a record breaking four minutes, with the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, David Moyes, Mike Phelan and Albert Morgan in the audience.
Losing to City and Liverpool away was painful, as it always is, but somewhat expected. Our record in both of these fixtures over the past few years under Sir Alex Ferguson has been pretty poor. Of course, you wouldn't swap the trophies for derby day wins, we aren't the sort of club that will bring out DVDs for beating Liverpool home and away, but have nothing to show for it at the end of the season.
Nani has been a player that has split opinion for some time which meant there were mixed responses to news that he had agreed a new five-year-deal with the club. Not long ago, it appeared as though Nani would certainly be leaving the club and had Sir Alex Ferguson remained as manager, I imagine the Portuguese winger would have gone.
When Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that Wayne Rooney had told him he wanted to leave the club, I argued that it was time for the striker to leave, but only if we could sell him to a club abroad. Initially, he was linked with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG and Monaco in the papers, although it became apparent fairly early on there was nothing in these stories.
Following the closing of the transfer window in 2002, Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his disappointment at not being able to finalise the deals for three players. United had been in talks with several clubs but in the end no deal could be struck, so Ferguson instead praised the young players we had coming through.
When Wayne Rooney confirmed that he was not prepared to sign a contract extension in 2010 it appeared as though there was no way back for him at United. Whilst some fans don't want to believe it, Rooney, through the work of his agent Paul Stretford, had been in talks with Manchester City and planned to sign the biggest contract of his career with them.
In the weeks leading up to us buying Robin van Persie, I was reading the papers, speaking to journalists and following those claiming to be in the know to try and gauge what the likelihood was of us signing the best striker in the league. I had been repeatedly told that United was the club he wanted to go to and that we were prepared to pay Arsenal their asking price, but we've been disappointed in the transfer marketregularly enough to know there's often little point getting our hopes up.
Daniel Taylor, The Guardian, @dtguardian
Sorry if it sounds like I'm fudging it, but it's difficult to answer that one properly until I see who they buy. If Rooney goes to Chelsea and United don't bring in a replacement, miss out on Fabregas etc, it's difficult to see you winning the league.
Manchester United ran away with the league last season but probably didn't receive the praise they deserved. Our dominance was explained away by the poor competition the other teams offered. There's no denying that other teams should have pushed us more than they did, with City and Chelsea bowing out of the race months before the end of the season, but it does our lads a disservice.
I love the Da Silva twins. My friend taping Made In Brazil, a documentary about them, was the nicest thing anyone has done for me for a while! Whilst not wanting to get too carried away about them, and able to recognise their flaws, I just think they're great. I love their attitude, I love how they play, I love that we have two of them and they look exactly the same (I know that's a bit of a shit reason to love them, but it is actually a contributing factor), and I'd be made up if they proved good enough to hold down the full-back starting places in our line-up for the next ten years.
Most transfer windows have been fairly disappointing occasions for United fans since the Glazers bought the club and we have become used to this. More often than not, if we do dip in to the transfer market, we buy the sensible player. A player that makes sense and has the potential to be good enough but who doesn't get you too excited.