The overwhelming majority of sportspeople remain tight-lipped when criticised or blackguarded in the media. Most are stony-faced professionals who eschew any right of reply offered.
But there are times when they cut loose. Jamie Carragher admitted to us this year that players often discuss the outrageous comments of assorted media pundits.
Here are five occasions when sportsmen answered back in public...
Glenn Whelan v Eamon Dunphy
Eamon Dunphy defiantly asserted his right to hold and express an adverse opinion on Glenn Whelan on the grounds that he had 'two ferraris'.
He is welcome to come down to our training ground -- he knows where we train -- and he can talk to me then, get things off his chest if he wants.
For him to say I'm a terrible player and I was lucky to get 50 caps. Well let's put our achievements on the table.
What has he done in football? Compare his stats and achievements to what I have done and that speaks volumes.
Graham Geraghty v Kevin McStay
Following Meath's loss to Dublin in the 2007 Leinster championship, cameras zoned in on Graham Geraghty striking Dublin defender David Henry, an offence which was missed by the officials. Kevin McStay was surprisingly unrestrained in his assessment of Geraghty, saying he always had 'a nasty streak in him'.
James Nolan v Jerry Kiernan
At the 2004 Olympics, Kiernan accused Nolan of being lazy and said he needed a coach who would 'kick his backside around'. He also said he should move up in distance.
Nolan did not like those comments.
This is coming from a marathon runner-stroke-cross country slogger, it's a totally different discipline to track and field. I don't see any judo people commenting on Andy Lee's boxing match last night and that's what it's like to me. He doesn't know the meaning of the word 'speed'.
He also questioned my injury, my hamstring, he knows nothing about it! He didn't contact any of the physiotherapists either in the training camp in Cyprus or here and I had Johnson McEvoy working twice a day on me, in the middle of the night if he thought it would work.
He's saying I'm using that as an excuse for not running well yesterday. I thought I ran quite well and who's he to question me? An asshole!
Ronan O'Gara v Kevin Myers
Ronan O'Gara already had form in offering his own feedback to journalist's feedback. When Stephen Jones wrote his famous re-appraisal of O'Gara in 2009, the Welsh rugby writer acknowledged that for most of O'Gara's career, he did not rate him.
Accordingly, news of this reached him and I don’t think it is breaking a confidence if I say that he let me know he didn’t rate my view that I didn’t rate him. If texts were fists. Ouch.
After Ireland's loss in Paris in 2010 (their first defeat in 15 months), Kevin Myers used his then column in the Irish Independent to criticise Declan Kidney's decision to pick O'Gara ahead of Johnny Sexton, a decision which Myers claimed was influenced by the subconscious Irish desire to lose.
Rather unsurprisingly, he decreed that the roots of that defeat were to be found partially in the Easter Rising, which had fed this desire for heroic failure.
O'Gara saw fit to write to the editor after this article.
Brian O'Driscoll v George Hook
The pair have long jabbed at each other. O'Driscoll didn't specifically name Hook, but the latter's string of tweets after this comment made clear that the Corkman understood he was the intended target.
Kieran Donaghy v Joe Brolly
The question that launched a thousand tweets.
Needless to say, Joe Brolly's contention that 'the production line was finished in Kerry' was not well received by Kieran Donaghy. He chose the moment of victory to bring up those comments.
Later that year, Brolly was invited down to Tralee to surprise Kieran Donaghy at a function. Brolly was to sneak up behind Donaghy once the post-match interview was brought up.
Brolly has referenced this exchange in his entertaining Gaelic Life column.
Big Kieran was on stage being asked about his 'What do you think of that Joe Brolly?' moment, when I got the signal to rock.
'You cheeky Tyrone b****d' I said as I walked into the function room (Kieran’s half Tyrone, thank God the family settled in Kerry). The place went wild. Big Kieran jumped in surprise, face red as a beetroot.
'You can take the man out of Tyrone,' I said as I advanced on the stage. 'Did your ma never tell you not to challenge the man with the mic? Your first slip up and the Sean Cavanagh episode will seem like a breaktime story in the creche.'
'Ah jaysus Joe,' he said, 'sure you said I was finished.'
'Wasn’t me left on you on the bench for 90% of the year,' I said. The place was in uproar.