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Top N.Y. sports goats of the decade

Tom Glavine on the mound int he first

Tom Glavine on the mound int he first inning as the Florida Marlins played the Mets at Shea Stadium. (September 30, 2007) Credit: Newsday/Paul J. Bereswill

Sometimes even good players have bad moments. (See Buckner, Bill.)

Here are 10 New York sports “goats’’ of the 2000s, selected not because of sustained disappointment – Carl Pavano, your list will come soon – but for having one really bad day.

1. Plaxico Burress, Nov. 28, 2008

Less than 10 months after making the winning catch in the Super Bowl, Plaxico Burress dropped his gun at a New York nightclub, eventually landing him in prison.

Thankfully, Burress wounded no one other than himself – unless you count the Giants’ hopes of earning a second consecutive Super Bowl trophy.

They were 10-1 at the time of the accidental shooting, 2-4 thereafter.

2. Kevin Brown, Oct. 20, 2004

In Joe Torre’s book about his Yankees years, Mike Mussina recalls the players’ feeling after they lost Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS: “We’re finished.’’

That was because no one trusted - or even liked - Game 7 starter Kevin Brown, who recorded four outs and was charged with five runs in the Red Sox’ 10-3 victory, completing their historic comeback.

3. Trey Junkin, Jan. 5, 2003

Trey Junkin was a 41-year-old, recently retired long snapper with a spotless track record when he joined the Giants the week of their first-round playoff game against the 49ers.

Five days later, his career ended when he botched a snap on what would have been a 41-yard field goal try in the final seconds for the Giants, who had blown a 38-14 third-quarter lead. They lost, 39-38.

4. Tom Glavine, Sept. 30, 2007

Tom Glavine’s five-year stay in New York ended with an awful outing on the final day of the season, when a loss to the Marlins meant completing a late collapse and bouncing the Mets from the playoffs.

He allowed seven earned runs while recording one out in an 8-1 loss, then annoyed fans further when he said afterward, “I’m not devastated.’’ Everyone else in Mets-land was.

5. Doug Brien, Jan. 15, 2005

The Jets twice were a field goal away from reaching the AFC Championship Game, but two misses by Doug Brien opened the door for the Steelers to win the divisional round game, 20-17, in overtime.

First, Brien hit the crossbar from 47 yards out with two minutes left. Then he missed wide left from 43 yards on the final play of the fourth quarter. Not surprisingly,

it was his final game as a Jet.

6. Timo Perez, Oct. 21, 2000

The first Subway Series in 44 years began with a Yankees victory in 12 innings, but the result might have been different if not for Timo Perez’s baserunning boo-boo in the sixth.

With the game still scoreless and two outs, Todd Zeile hit a shot off the outfield wall, but the speedy Perez was thrown out at home. It turned out he had slowed up, thinking Zeile had hit a home run.

7. Carlos Beltran, Oct. 19, 2006

Carlos Beltran had 41 home runs and 116 RBI in 2006, making him a good choice to come up with the Mets trailing the Cardinals, 3-1, the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth in Game 7 of the NLCS.

But Adam Wainwright struck him out on three pitches, the last a nasty curveball. It would have been nice at least to see Beltran swing.

8. Kerry Collins, Jan. 28, 2001

As good as Kerry Collins was in the Giants’ demolition of the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game, he was terribly shaky in Super Bowl XXXV against the Ravens’ ferocious defense.

Collins was 15-for-39 and threw four interceptions, one returned for a TD, as the Giants lost, 34-7. He named his dog, born that day, Fiver Intercepted – the first for his number, the second for the obvious.

9. Eric Cairns, April 8, 2004

To be a “goat’’ your team usually must be playing in an important game. So it’s not easy finding entries from New York hockey or basketball in the 2000s.

How about the IslandersEric Cairns, who in the first game of a first-round series had an awful giveaway that set up a Lightning goal. A few minutes later, he did it again. The Islanders lost the game, 3-0, and the series, 4-1.

10. Mariano Rivera, Nov. 4, 2001

How can a closer who blows a save in Game 7 of the World Series not qualify for a “goats’’ list, even the peerless Mariano Rivera? Out of respect, we’ve hidden him at No. 10.

But facts are facts: The Yankees were three outs from their fourth ring in a row when a throwing error by Rivera gave life to the Diamondbacks, who scored twice to win, 3-2.

(Rivera also blew a save in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, opening the door for, well, you know.)

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