First round: Worth a punt

NFL kicker Billy Cundiff may have earned a degree of infamy by missing a routine 31-yard field goal in January that cost the Baltimore Ravens a trip to the Super Bowl. But at least he has a track record of hedging his bets, should his kicking days come to an abrupt end.

Back in 2009, Cundiff completed an MBA from Arizona State University and was hired by Pacific Southwest Ventures, an Arizona-based VC firm. His financial career only lasted seven months because he got signed up to kick for the Cleveland Browns – although he remains president and owner of Cundiff Management Group, which he founded in April 2004. (First Round isn’t quite certain what CMG manages, since its chief executive has apparently been too busy kicking footballs and hanging out on the sidelines with cheerleaders to get a website).

Still, an MBA and short stint at a VC firm is more than most NFL players have on their CVs. And Cundiff impressed at least one VC exec during his venture phase. “He’s an accomplished professional, be it business or sports,” former managing partner of Pacific Southwest Ventures Craig Ballard told the Wall Street Journal in 2009. “He was eager to expand his mind, which you don’t get to do in the NFL.”

This offseason, however, Cundiff will probably be trying to think about anything but football. “It’s something that will be tough for a little while,” he told reporters after missing that kick. That’s a pretty safe bet.