Top 15 Athletes Who Overslept and Missed Games

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 15. Ryan Mallett

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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.

15 14. Nikita Zadorov

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

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.

14 13. Joel Ward

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

13 12. Matt Joyce

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

12 11. Ramon Castro


11 10. DeSean Jackson

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

10 9. Jody George


9 8. Joshua Ho-Sang

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

8 7. Jim Furyk

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

7 6. Charlie Bell


6 5. Jonas Gray

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

5 4. Ron Artest

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4 3. Ken Griffey Jr.

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

3 2. Duke Kahanamoku



1 1. Alexander Ovechkin

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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.”

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Top 15 Athletes Who Overslept and Missed Games