Timing is everything in sports

Jim Furyk is not the first athlete to be late to work.

Furyk missed his tee time at Wednesday’s pro-am for the Barclays because the alarm on his cell phone didn’t go off, and he was disqualified from the tournament, the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events.

The New York Times compiled a list of oversleepers and malingerers in sports who failed to make it to their job on time.

Among the guilty were U.S. sprinters Eddie Hart, Rey Robinson and Robert Taylor, who were supposed to compete in the quarterfinals of the 100 meters at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The three were watching TV in their Olympic Village dorm, thinking they were seeing a replay of previous races. Instead, they were watching the competition that they were scheduled to be running in.

Only Taylor managed to make it to the starting line. U.S. coach Stan Wright blamed the error on an old bus schedule.

Several major league baseball pitchers have been late to the ballpark over the years.

In 1982, Braves right-hander Pascual Perez got lost trying to find Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta.

In 1986, Red Sox ace Roger Clemens got stuck in traffic on his way to Boston’s Fenway Park. He decided to abandon his car and run the last two miles to the ballpark. A police officer recognized Clemens and drove him to Fenway, where he struck out a major league-record 20 batters in a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Finally, there is former UNLV star Isaiah “J.R.” Rider, who was known for habitually oversleeping.

With the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, Rider missed the team bus to the Alamodome for a game against the San Antonio Spurs.

When he arrived 15 minutes late, Rider gave coach Phil Jackson a note from the hotel manager saying that the hotel operator had failed to provide Rider with his wake-up call. Jackson didn’t discipline Rider.

■ SNAKES (NOT) ALIVE! — Nothing like the old fake-snake-in-the-Gatorade-bucket trick to break the monotony of an NFL training camp.

The Seattle Seahawks’ equipment staff recently rigged up the gag and planted a video camera in an office to catch players freaking out.

The players were told they should try the new Gatorade, but when they lifted the lid, a fake snake popped out.

“It scared the heck out of me,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said.

■ PLAX WON’T PAY — Once Plaxico Burress finishes paying his debt to society, he’ll have another debt to settle.

Former New York Giants punter Jeff Feagles told Sports Illustrated that Burress, who is serving two years in prison for criminal possession of a handgun, never paid for the No. 17 jersey that the wide receiver purchased from him after joining the team in 2005.

Feagles had negotiated the deal with Burress’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and the two reached an agreement — Burress got No. 17 in exchange for paying for remodeling Feagles’ outdoor kitchen.

Feagles had sold his number once before. In 2004, Eli Manning got the punter’s No. 10 in exchange for funding a Feagles family vacation to Florida.


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