Larry Ryan’s best and worst quotes of the year

A word to the wise: The final say on sport in 2014

Larry Ryan’s best and worst quotes of the year

THE PUNDITS: Colour commentary

“The Mayo full-back-line are about as composed as Fr Dougal saying Mass.”

— Joe Brolly watched Kieran Donaghy put the frighteners on Mayo.

“If perhaps we could maybe patent that 35 minutes and sell it, maybe we have discovered a cure for insomnia.”

— Pat Spillane didn’t enjoy the opening exchanges between Mayo and Roscommon.

“If Tyrone introduced puke football, then on Sunday in Croke Park, Kerry were the little girl in ‘The Exorcist’ whose head revolves as she machine-guns the walls with a torrent of vomit.”

— Joe Brolly on All-Ireland final horror.

“There’s an awful lot of idiotic pundits who don’t do their homework and don’t look at the players.”

— Eamon Dunphy during the World Cup, before slamming the mystery calamity in Argentina’s defence, Lorenzo.

“One good one.”

— After picking Tim Howard as USA’s weak link, then see him make 16 saves against Belgium, Kenny Cunningham stuck to his guns.

MONEYBALL: Crossing bottom line

“No. I know it’s 30% tax. That makes me very sad.”

— Serbian tennis player Aleksandra Krunic asked if she knew how much she made for reaching the US Open quarter-finals.

“I’m not scared to spend money. If you go out with me one night, you will understand that.”

— Arsene Wenger tries to buck his tight-Arsenal reputation.

THE INEXACTITUDES (As Billo would put it)

“The pitch is a fucking bog... when Neymar was shaping up to take that penalty, I thought he was fucking dreading it.”

— The ad break during Brazil’s World Cup win over Croatia finished before Eamo was ready.

“The guy is an absolute c**t.”

— Lord’s mics picked up Andrew Strauss’s opinion of Kevin Pietersen.

— “Nice fucking three-putt, you fucking faggot.”

— US golfer Patrick Reed earned himself a fine at the WGC-HSBC Champions event.

“Fuck france and fuck deschamps! What a shit manager!”

— Samir Nasri’s girlfriend Anara Atanes reacted to her man’s World Cup omission.

LEARNING THE ROPES: Settling in

“At a restaurant, in France, you sit down and not only do they make you wait for a very long time, but they treat you badly. Now I’ve adapted: if someone treats me badly, I treat them badly in return. I’m a real Parisian now.”

— Thiago Silva on move to PSG

“Everybody here has been nice to me. It’ll take a little getting used to.”

— Twins pitcher Phil Hughes had the opposite problem, having left the Yankees for Minnesota.

“It was hell. Curtains over here are different. In Spain, we’re accustomed to sleeping in total darkness because the sun’s really bright in the morning. You can’t even see your hand in front of your face. When we first moved into our house, we were waking up at 6am. I’d go to training and people were asking if I’d gone out the night before because I looked so sleepy. — Mikel Arteta explained that every house in England is like that and I’d have to find blackout curtains myself. I’m happier now!”

— Santi Cazorla learned to shut out North London dawn.

CALM DOWN: Not getting carried away

“I guess you’ve got to throw it just bad enough where they’ve got to make a great catch.”

— New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning on memorable passes to David Tyree and Odell Beckham Jr.

“I don’t know. I have no real phenomenal feelings. You want to win, you want to lose. We neither won nor lost. I am as I am, to be honest.”

— Brian Cody after the drawn All-Ireland final.

MEA CULPAS: Stuff your sorries in a sack

“I made a poor decision regarding the limits of my alcohol intake.”

— Aaron Cruden axed by the All-Blacks for missing a flight.

“These were two text messages sent in private at a time Malky felt under great pressure and when he was letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter.”

— The League Managers’ Association played down the Malky Mackay text palava.

“I would like to withdraw those comments and apologise profusely and unreservedly for any issue for anybody who heard them or felt offence from what I said.”

— Former Ireland international Neil Francis regretting suggesting gay people don’t play sport.

“Apologies to the Brazilian people. I just wanted to see my people smile.”

— David Luiz after the 7-1.

CALLING IT: Saying what they saw

“I’m sick of sports commentators saying ‘You couldn’t write a script like this.’ If people can write scripts about dystopian futures where life is in fact a simulation made by sentient machines to harness humans’ heat and electricity as an energy source, they can probably write ones about Gary Taylor-Fletcher scoring a last minute equaliser against Stoke.”

— A letter from ‘Joey’ to The Metro newspaper.

“It’s like having a choice of two blokes to nick your wife.”

— Gary Neville on a Man City v Liverpool title race.

“We are going to get absolutely smashed.”

— Former Australia captain Paul Wade boosted the Socceroos ahead of the World Cup.

FAREWELLS: Leaving the stage

“I understand that my career is over but people are giving you well-wishes like you’re about to die.”

— Derek Jeter got fed up of the long goodbye.

“It really is like a death. You’re so passionate about it, you put so much energy and drive into it and then, all of a sudden, it’s just gone.”

— Steve Nash bowed out too.

“That standing ovation I got coming off the bench yesterday was amazing, thanks.”

— Fergus McFadden was the sub when Brian O’Driscoll made his last Ireland appearance at Lansdowne.

‘Phillip’s spirit, which is now part of our game forever, will act as a custodian of the sport we all love. We must listen to it, we must cherish it, we must learn from it, we must dig in... we must dig in and get through to tea. And we must play on. So rest in peace, my little brother, I’ll see you out in the middle.”

— Australia captain Michael Clarke delivered an emotional eulogy to teammate Phillip Hughes. 

SONGS OF PRAISE: All credit

“He wore his heart on his shoulder.”

— Cyril Farrell paid tribute to Tommy Quaid.

“He finds space like a car park attendant.”

— Paul Merson on David Silva.

While BeIN Sport commentator Ray Hudson devoted another year to colourful, if sometimes confused, tributes to Leo Messi:

“It’s a wonderful Barcelona goal. They’re like dolphins chattering to each other. They all understand the language, and he is their Mozart.”

“Messi could nutmeg a mermaid.”

“He could follow you into a revolving door and he’d still come out first.”

“Centipedes go to bed at night dreaming of just one left leg like his.”

“Messi could shave a mouse while it’s asleep.”

THE EXCUSES: Dog ate my homework

“I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent... I hit my face against the player, leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.”

Luis Suarez didn’t tell the whole tooth.

“Nothing could be done in that time. It was like the lad said: when the train wakes you up at 6am it’s too late to get back to sleep and too early to get up!”

Tipp football chairman Joe Hannigan explains why the county football championship couldn’t be run off between All-Ireland hurling final and replay.

“My client’s position is simply that it is not him singing in the video. If you take the decision to publish legal proceedings will follow as it will undoubtedly cause various issues for my client.”

Dabello Law denied John Delaney’s republican ballad singing.

HARSH WORDS: Not pulling punches.

“Am I afraid of failure? He is a specialist in failure. I’m not. So if one supposes he’s right and I’m afraid of failure, it’s because I don’t fail many times. So maybe he’s right. I’m not used to failing. But the reality is he’s a specialist because, eight years without a piece of silverware, that’s failure.”

Jose Mourinho continued his feud with Arsene Wenger.

“As soon as he presented his autobiography in a snobby restaurant, I knew hard times were ahead. Louis van Gaal was not always easy-care. He wanted to ‘Vangaalise’ our club. He has a huge ego.”

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge doesn’t recall LVG’s spell in Munich all that fondly.

“I want to put this nicely but, reading the book, it strikes me that maybe, just maybe, team sport’s not for you?”

Chat show host Graham Norton puts Kevin Pietersen on back foot.

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