Sometimes it’s one of those “oh really, they said that” moments and other times it shines a light on deep-seated motivations.
Either way, these are some of the more memorable quotes of the sporting year.
"I just count money, that's all I do. I count my millions." - Bernard Tomic's sarcastic snap at journalists after bowing out of Australian Open qualifying.
"I didn't see that through my thick tears." - Roger Federer on Rod Laver taking video of him accepting his record 20th grand slam title at the Australian Open.
"There have been times when I feel like I have been a bit shafted." - snowboarder Scotty James questions scoring of him in comparison to US superstar Shaun White before winning half-pipe bronze at the Winter Olympics.
"We spoke about it and thought it was a possible way to get an advantage." - Australian captain Steve Smith makes a stunning ball-tampering admission in South Africa.
"I panicked quite a lot. That obviously resulted in me shoving it down my trousers." - Cameron Bancroft on attempting to hide the infamous yellow sandpaper at Newlands.
"I know I'll regret this for the rest of my life." - Smith at a teary press conference as he apologised and accepted his 12-month suspension.
"If he thought with his big head rather than his little head, I wouldn't have had to rebuild the joint." - Newcastle coach Nathan Brown on Wayne Bennett's claim he "unbuilt" the Knights.
"The buck stops with us." - Commonwealth Games chairman Peter Beattie took the fall for the decision not to highlight the athletes in the closing ceremony broadcast.
"If that goal was offside, I just wonder what the point of the VAR is." - Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick bemoans a "technical failure" that meant Melbourne Victory's match-winning A-League grand final goal wasn't ruled out.
"Can't believe I came all the way from Toowoomba." - Will Power on becoming the first Australian to win the iconic Indy 500 motor race.
"We have got a lot of compliments, but with compliments you don't win games." - coach Bert van Marwijk after the Socceroos' World Cup campaign yielded only two goals, both from penalties.
"To let his team take gangster selfies on the baseline after something like that ... shows a total lack of control and respect." - Boomers assistant coach Luc Longley on the Philippines team's behaviour after the infamous 'basketbrawl'.
"Yes ... a while back." - Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley caused months of AFL controversy by admitting to meeting with Gold Coast forward Tom Lynch, who eventually joined Richmond.
"The pressure from the media and constant speculation was eating away at him." - Penrith supremo Phil Gould on sacking coach Anthony Griffin.
"Gus hasn't coached for 20 years. If there's anyone old school ... he'd need to be there as well" - Griffin didn't take kindly to Gould's "old-school approach" claim.
"This game has given me everything, I am forever in debt to it." - rugby league great Billy Slater retires.
"It has been tough from the get-go and in the end it has become untenable." - Trent Barrett as he neared the end of his tenure as Manly head coach over a series of issues.
"Respect, respect, respect." - three-time Premier League-winning manager Jose Mourinho to journalists after Manchester United's 3-0 loss to Tottenham before eventually being sacked.
"I want to help you. I've seen your matches: you're great for tennis. Nick, I know this is not you." - chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani's extraordinary mid-match US Open pep talk to Australian Nick Kyrgios.
"We acknowledge that we made some mistakes ... we pushed too far." - Adelaide coach Don Pyke on the Crows' controversial 'mind-training' pre-season camp.
"I've got a 7am fantasy draft so I'm gonna get up for that." - Australian journeyman John Millman at 1am local time after toppling Roger Federer at the US Open.
"I've never cheated, and you owe me an apology." - Serena Williams scolds chair umpire Carlos Ramos in the US Open final for being docked a game after calling him a thief.
"I've got no-one else to blame but myself." - midfielder Andrew Gaff on missing West Coast's AFL grand final win under suspension for a hit on Fremantle youngster Andrew Brayshaw.
"It's legend status in our game, that. And it's not an understatement." - Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson on Cooper Cronk playing in their NRL grand final win with a broken scapula.
"You learn in rugby league very soon that all things are possible." - Des Hasler on returning to Manly after leaving the NRL club in acrimony seven years earlier.
"He's shown a bit (of potential) but it's a little bit of a kick in the teeth to the professionals that are in the league." - Perth Glory star Andy Keogh on Usain Bolt's A-League trial with Central Coast.
"Forget all the words, forget the verbal diarrhoea. That's just rubbish." - Test legend Shane Warne as the Australian team was mocked for adopting the phrase "elite honesty".
"I've played my whole life like a chessboard." - Socceroos great Tim Cahill admits keeping his cards close to his chest as he retires from international football.
"It is an honour to sit beside you, Layne." - Australian surfer Stephanie Gilmore as she won a record-equalling seventh world title to match compatriot Layne Beachley.
"He's been ringing up the Souths boys but then tells his press conference he hasn't spoken to anyone." - Anthony Seibold as Wayne Bennett refused to stand aside as Brisbane coach.
"I was happy to be sacked." - Wayne Bennett after weeks of to and fro ended with his 2019 Brisbane-South Sydney coaching swap with Seibold coming to fruition.
"It is extremely disappointing that clubs are looking to gain an unfair advantage by deliberately flouting the game's rules." - NRL boss Todd Greenberg as the league's horror off-season continued with the de-registration of Sharks coach Shane Flanagan and Wests Tigers boss Justin Pascoe.
Australian Associated Press