“I’m not the first to swear on TV and won’t be the last”

IAN COLE’s weekly collection of the best quotes about sport and journalism includes a Masters disintegration, more on Wayne Rooney’s vocabulary, Wisden traditions, and Kelvin MacKenzie on journalism degree courses

Down but not out? Rory McIlroy

“When you lead a tournament like the Masters for 63 holes at my age, you’ve got to take the positives out of it. I’ve a bit of learning to do to win a major and if I can get into another wining position quickly then hopefully I’ll be able to draw from this experience” Rory McIlroy.

“So many roars, so much atmosphere, it was just a phenomenal day and I can’t take in what it means to win right now” Charl Schwartzel, the Masters champion.

“The thing is, you know there’s an obstacle ahead. That’s what the chequered flags are telling you” Mick Fitzgerald’s Grand National commentary for BBC that failed to mention that the “obstacles” were dead horses.

“If I ever meet his father I’m going to congratulate him and ask him where his brains come from” Ginger McCain, trainer of four National winners, after his son Donald won this year’s race with Ballabriggs.

“Part of a coach’s job is to coach people to handle pressure moments. You would hope clubs would be big enough to ban players themselves. The penalties are so light in football. In rugby, Neil Back was banned for six months for pushing a referee” Sir Clive Woodward, World Cup-winning rugby coach, on Wayne Rooney’s swearing.

“When you score a goal in Italy nothing happens if a player shouts into a camera. Here, two-game ban. They are very strong here. I am surprised by this” Carlo Ancelotti.

“I am not the first player to have sworn on TV and I won’t be the last. Unlike others who have been caught swearing on camera, I apologised immediately. And yet I am the only person to be banned for swearing. That doesn’t seem right” Wayne Rooney‘s statement, issued through Manchester United, after he lost his appeal against a two-match ban.

They'd swear by it: Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney

“Fair is not a word you can use any longer. We put an appeal in, the lad wrote an apology for swearing – but obviously I didn’t expect to get a result” Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I’m surprised there’s divided opinion. Why do you have to go up and swear into a camera when there’s kids watching? We don’t need that. It depends what your morals are. Some people swear in front of women, which I don’t understand. It depends on how you live your life” Harry Redknapp.

“He’s the most inoffensive player ever, isn’t he? He’s not one for getting red cards or making rash challenges. But he’s lunged in for the second one and it’s cost us dearly” Redknapp laments Peter Crouch’s sending off after 15 minutes of Spurs’ 4-0 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

“No one’s made him a scapegoat. No one’s blaming him. He didn’t bottle anything. The kid wasn’t well. He’s normally chirpy in the dressing room before he goes out but I looked at him and he didn’t look well” Redknapp defends Aaron Lennon, who pulled out minutes before the Real Madrid game having been pumped full of antibiotics.

“Someone said it could have been a penalty. It’s the first penalty decision we’ve had in seven years, so we’re due one. I don’t feel guilty about that at all” Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United head back to Old Trafford with a 1-0 first leg lead in their Champions League quarter-final with Chelsea.

“Barry’s got a very good agent. He always agrees with the manager and is like the guy who sits in the front row and is teacher’s pet. Honestly, I think I’m the best English midfielder” Joey Barton is not a member of the Gareth Barry fan club.

“We see people feigning injury and diving and in my opinion it is cheating. Those players should be reprimanded. Forget about other countries and what they do…this is England” Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager.

“After what he did to my keeper I have no sympathy. It’s as clear as day, he has his elbow in my keeper’s face” Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, as Fernando Torres completes 648 minutes without a goal for Chelsea but contributes to his side’s winning goal.

“There are six more games to go but I am certain there are clouds on the horizon. But if you spend your life worrying about clouds on the horizon you forget the sunshine. At the moment I’m enjoying the sunshine” Roy Hodgson has hauled West Brom out of the Premiership relegation zone in two months at the Hawthorns.

“It’s an absolute disgrace. I can’t come to terms with how they can just shut us out, do away with the qualification process, and still call it a World Cup. It’s not a World Cup, it’s a glorified Champions Trophy” William Porterfield, Ireland’s cricket captain, angered by the ICC’s decision to exclude associate nations from the next World Cup.

“If you believe you are as good as they say you are when you play well, and as bad as they say you are when you are playing badly, it can really mess with you. So I try not to pay too much attention to what is written about me and just concentrate on my cricket” Alastair Cook.

SJA President Michael Parkinson greets the Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson ahead of our Question Time event

“I’d like to play for Great Britain in the Olympic hockey final against Australia – and we’d win by a cricket score” Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport, asked at the SJA’s Olympic Question Time debate which event he would like to take part in at London 2012.

“Ronnie is at a crossroads. He either has to pack it all up completely, for good – he doesn’t need the money – or at least for a few years. Or he has to have the mental strength to lock himself in a room and get this sorted out. I’ve known him since he was 12 and I hope we can get the real Ronnie back. But I’m not confident” Barry Hearn on former world No1 Ronnie O’Sullivan’s disenchantment with the game.

“Breaking records is healthy. Breaking traditions is a grey area. And selecting only four, not five, Wisden Cricketers of the Year was not a decision I took lightly because the honour is the oldest in cricket” Scyld Berry, Wisden Editor, on his decision not to list one of Pakistan’s match-fixers in the game’s Hall of Fame.

“In a way it makes me much less of a threat – and women are funny the way they watch telly, because they don’t like women who they think might nick their husband” Clare Balding thinks that being “out” has helped make her a better broadcaster.

“You can’t win with the press, you answer a question honestly, now I’m the one who looks a prick. The press can do that to you. Thanks boys” @IanJamesPoulter on Twitter complains about the reaction to his opinion expressed at a press conference that Tiger Woods would not finish in the top five at the Masters.

“It’s like trying to teach Raymond Blanc how to cook an omelette” Peter Alliss on Tiger Woods’ chipping lessons.

“There are more than 80 schools in the UK teaching journalism. These courses are make-work projects for retired journalists who teach for six months a year and are on a salary of £34,000- £60,000. Students are piling up debts as they pay to keep their tutors in the lifestyles they’re used to…  If you want to be a print journalist you should go straight from school and join the local press. You will have a better career and you won’t owe a fortune. Good luck” Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of The Sun, has his two penn’orth on journalism training in The Independent.

“You meet Oxford firsts now who are as thick as two short planks, and have never read anything. I meet them all the time, they do work experience at The TimesGiles “Man of the people” Coren on the standards of modern university education.

“Many journalism degree courses are  crap” Dominic Ponsford, editor of Press Gazette, is equally scathing.

For the SJA’s training advice and course listings, click here


Wed Apr 13: SJA 2011 Annual Meeting, at offices of UK Sport, Russell Square. Strictly SJA members only.

Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – note the date in your diary now.

All details subject to alteration. Keep checking for updates