There's a great episode of the classic tv show Seinfeld in which a marathon runner from Trinidad and Tobago named Jean-Paul Jean-Paul comes to stay with Elaine for a few days. Jean-Paul had previously overslept at the Olympics and missed his race. Jerry, worried about Elaine's tardiness, spends the majority of the episode trying to ensure that Jean-Paul will be awoken in time to run the New York City Marathon, but is ultimately failed by Kramer's internal alarm clock. Jean-Paul wakes up in time to get to the starting line of the race and takes the lead before being brought down by a hilarious mishap.
Oversleeping is something we've all done. Sometimes you mix up your alarm's am and pm settings, sometimes you hit the snooze button and your alarm never goes off again or in the case of Jean-Paul's Olympic efforts, sometimes there is a separate knob for the radio alarm. For most of us oversleeping is not usually a big deal. It may make us a bit late for work or school and we may have to hear about it from our boss or teacher, but then we typically move on with our day. If you're an athlete it's a different story. Your sleeping in late can end up resulting in you missing a game and costing you or your team a shot at victory, as well as make you the subject of media ridicule.
The 15 athletes on this list were all undone by their inability to wake up when they needed to. In some cases it resulted in them being late for an important team event and being benched for a game or part of a game, in some cases it resulted in them sleeping through their game, and in the case of one high school athlete, his tardiness led to his dismissal from all of his school's sports teams.
16 Ryan Mallett
If you're a young NFL quarterback trying to work your way into a starting job, you cannot be late. Well, that's exactly what former Houston Texan Ryan Mallett recently did. Back in training camp, Mallett overslept and missed the team practice. Coach Bill O'Brien said the incident should be a wakeup call to Mallett. While he technically didn't miss a game, he did this while battling journeyman Brian Hoyer for the starting job. This likely tipped the scales in handing Hoyer the starting job. Mallett would eventually get a second chance a few weeks into the season, but was ultimately benched due to poor play.
Just a few weeks ago, Mallett missed the team's flight to Miami for a Week 6 game, this time citing traffic as the reason for his absence. He was released from the team soon after.
15 Nikita Zadorov
The former Sabres defenseman was scratched for a game in February of 2015 after sleeping in and showing up late for a team meeting. It was the second time within a month that the 19-year-old's tardiness got him in trouble. Zadorov previously had been late returning from the All-Star break and was scratched for two games.
After this incident Zadorov joked that he might have to start setting three alarm clocks. “Young guy, you can’t do that," said Zadorov. "You’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to have a Plan B or something like that every time."
14 Joel Ward
The former Washington Capitals winger slept in and missed a team meeting in 2011 and was subsequently scratched for a game against the Winnipeg Jets. Ward was a favorite of head coach Bruce Boudreau at the time and was third on the team with 21.2 shifts per game. "I didn't want to do it," said Boudreau. "He's a good player. But the rules have got to be the rules for everybody."
13 Matt Joyce
The Los Angeles Angels outfielder was late for a game against the Toronto Blue Jays in May of 2015 after he slept in, believing they were playing a night game instead of a day game. “I assumed we had a night game since it was a day game Sunday and assumed we had a night game Monday since we normally always do,” said Joyce. "By the time I realized it was a day game it was a little late.” The Angels benched Joyce for the game and the next day he took to Twitter to apologize and post a screenshot of the six alarm clocks he had set on his phone.
12 Ramon Castro
As a member of the New York Mets in 2008, Castro showed up late for a game in San Diego after having overslept. Castro said he looked at his schedule and saw a 4:00 pm start time and thought he could sleep in late. However, the start time was 4:00 pm Eastern and the Mets were on the West Coast all week. Castro was fined and benched in favor of Raul Casanova. If you're a traveling athlete, you should probably try to understand the concept of time zones.
11 DeSean Jackson
The former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver missed a team meeting in 2011 and was benched for a game against the Arizona Cardinals. The reason given for Jackson's absence was that he overslept, but there was speculation that it was actually because Jackson was upset with his contract situation. "I addressed the team and coaches," said Jackson. "Everybody was in there. I just explained to them the thing that I've been going through. Me not being myself, it's been hard to come to work and be happy just because of everything that's happened. I addressed it as a professional, as a man."
10 Jody George
Jody George spent a year training for the 2014 Challenge Weymouth Triathlon while collecting donations for the Devon and Somerset Air Ambulance. On the morning of the event, the 34-year-old's alarm went off at 3:00 am, but after hitting the snooze button George did not wake again until 5:55 and missed the race. George apologized and offered to refund donations, but ended up raising more money when he re-created the event near his home.
9 Joshua Ho-Sang
When NHL training camps opened in September of 2015, the New York Islanders 2014 first round draft pick was slated to practice on the team's top line alongside star centre John Tavares. However, Ho-Sang overslept on the first day of camp and was immediately returned to the OHL, but not before being forced to run the steps of the Nassau Coliseum for three hours. Ho-Sang has drawn criticism for his alleged attitude problems and Islanders GM Garth Snow was not pleased with his prospect saying, "Enough with the bull----. It's time to grow up."
8 Jim Furyk
In 2010 Furyk overslept when the power ran out on his cellphone causing him to miss his tee time for the pro-am portion of the Barclays, the first of four FedEx Cup Playoff events. Furyk, who sat third in the FedEx Cup standings at the time, was disqualified from the event which hurt his chances to move up the standings. In the end, Furyk's tardiness didn't hurt him as he went on to win the Tour Championship and take home the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize.
7 Charlie Bell
Prior to Game 7 of the Milwaukee Bucks' first round playoff matchup with the Atlanta Hawks in 2010, Bell overslept and missed a team meeting. Bell was benched for the game, taken off the team's active roster, and replaced by an injured Andrew Bogut. The Bucks lost the series deciding game and Bell was subsequently traded to the Golden State Warriors that offseason. Maybe it was all a clever ploy by Bell to move from Milwaukee to California.
6 Jonas Gray
In 2014, as a member of the Patriots, Jonas Gray rushed for 201 yards on 37 carries and scored four touchdowns in a game against the Indianapolis Colts. A few days later he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Less than 48 hours after that, Gray overslept and was late for a team meeting, blaming his tardiness on his cellphone's power running out. Excuses typically don't fly with a coach like Bill Belichick, so Gray was sent home from practice and didn't receive a single touch the next game.
5 Ron Artest
In 2003, as a member of the Indiana Pacers, the player now known as Metta World Peace was benched for the second half of a game against the New Jersey Nets after a halftime dispute with head coach Rick Carlisle. A few days later Artest overslept and missed the team's morning shoot around prior to a game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Artest told Carlisle and Pacers' executives in a meeting that day that he wouldn't play that night due to a back injury, but he changed his mind prior to tip-off. Artest was benched for the majority of the first quarter before coming in and scoring 18 points en route to a 94-86 victory.
4 Ken Griffey Jr.
In May of 2010 Griffey missed an opportunity to pinch hit for the Seattle Mariners in a game against the Los Angeles Angels after falling asleep in the team's clubhouse. “He’d gone back about the fifth inning to get a jacket and didn’t come back,” said one player. “I went back in about the seventh inning — and he was in his chair, sound asleep.” Griffey had struggled that season and didn't have a great relationship with manager Don Wakamatsu. He abruptly retired a few weeks later, not wanting to be a distraction to the rest of the team.
3 Duke Kahanamoku
The legendary Hawaiian surfer and swimmer overslept at the 1912 Olympics and failed to make it to his 100 meter freestyle semi-final. Kahanamoku's biggest competitor, Australian Cecil Healy, begged officials to hold a special qualifying event for Kahanamoku, even threatening to withdraw if they didn't. After getting through the qualifier, Kahanamoku won the final to take home gold, with Healy getting silver.
1 Alexander Ovechkin
In October of 2015 the Washington Capitals star winger was scratched from the team's 5-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks for what head coach Barry Trotz referred to as "personal reasons". The next day it was revealed that Ovechkin's absence was punishment for showing up late to the team's morning skate. Ovechkin had slept in after setting his alarm clock for 8:30 pm instead of am. “It’s the team rules,” said Ovechkin. “We talk, we have conversation, and I think we understand each other." He later added, "“It was suck.”