As the year winds down, kick back and enjoy some of the humorous, thought-provoking and just plain nutty things said by sports figures in 2012.

"Hearing my fave, #18 Peyton Manning will not return to #NFL. Wow. #Colts" — NFL Insider (and sometime actor) Rob Lowe with the scoop on Twitter.

 

"Put your big-boy pants on". — Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, showing his trademark empathy when asked about teammate Pau Gasol's struggles.

 

"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now." — Lance Armstrong, announcing he would no longer fight doping charges levelled by USADA.

"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling." — International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid.

"It’s a shame in a game like that, that was so important, the ref decided the result before it started." — Canadian soccer star Christine Sinclair, heartbroken after her team's controversial Olympic semifinal loss to the U.S.

"I find it almost incomprehensible that he did that." — NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, minutes after NHLPA head Donald Fehr told reporters that the warring sides weren't far apart in negotiations.

"Miracles do happen in Manchester. Only this time it's on this side of the road." — Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini after his team's improbable comeback victory on the Premier League's final day won Man City a league title that rival Manchester United thought they had wrapped up.

"I'm now a legend, I'm the greatest athlete to live." — Sprinter Usain Bolt after winning the fifth of what would become six career Olympic gold medals at the London Games.

"At this age, I should be going to school every day. But I see my report [card] and I was there I think for two weeks, so my absent days are like 75 days or something." — Golfer Lydia Ko, 15, en route to winning the Canadian Open.

bolt-120811-940

Usain Bolt called himself "the greatest athlete to live" after another dominating Olympic performance in London. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

"I hope that this medal inspires the kids at home to put down guns and knives and pick up a pair of trainers instead." — Erick Barrondo, winner of Guatemala's first-ever Olympic medal with a silver in the men's 20-km race walk.

"You know, people want him to be successful. And so do I. Everybody in this building does, too. If he’s the guy that can be our guy for 10, 15 years, that’s a hell of a deal for us." — Denver Broncos executive John Elway on quarterback Tim Tebow, who would be traded two months later.

"... Which is the hill we will die on." — NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, ending a lengthy and somewhat convoluted statement with a flourish, about the importance of contract limits in negotiations with the players' association.

"Tonight, our society was wonderfully represented by a ginger bloke, an immigrant named Mohammed and a mixed race woman. #proudtobeBritish" —Singer Billy Bragg on Twitter after Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford won Olympic gold medals in rapid succession on Aug. 4 in London.

"Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it." — Bob Costas, quoting columnist Jason Whitlock, in a surprise halftime commentary after the murder-suicide committed by NFLer Jovan Belcher.

"And to be frank with you I don’t know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man." — Then Penn State coach Joe Paterno, rationalizing in his last major interview before his death, to Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post.

"I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful [bleep]." — Vikings punter Chris Kluwe in a letter to Maryland lawmaker Emmett C. Burns Jr., who publicly chastised a Ravens player who expressed support for gay marriage.

"Thank you so much. How about this [bleep] team right here! Look at this [bleep] team. Look at these [bleep] guys!" — Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick after the team's Stanley Cup parade.

"I've got circumstances. You guys understand it, and I understand it. It's already beat. And my vision that I'm living is to see two more daughters get married, dance at their weddings, and then hoist that Lombardi [Trophy] several times." — Coach Chuck Pagano, battling cancer, addressing the Colts upon his return. 

"Call Me Maybe" — Seemingly every college and Olympic squad, paying homage to the ubiquitous song by Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen with lip-synching YouTube videos.

"Good job, good effort!" — Jack Meyer, nine-year-old Miami Heat fan, encouraging his favourite players as they left the court after a tough home playoff loss to Boston.