Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway is the new spokesman for OpenSports.com. Also, a press release exclaims, somebody will draft a fantasy team and blog for the site using his name! Credit Elway this: He's rebounding from the colossal failure of MVP.com, the '90s e-commerce site he and Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky lost $120 million trying to build. Elway's lesson: Athletes like him shouldn't have to work as hard as startup types. They've already put in their time on the football field. Just nod, smile, tell them about the time you helicoptered into the end zone during your last Super Bowl, and reach out your palm for the cash, John. (Photo by AP/Terrill)
Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter and LeBron James today announced they've joined an $8.6 million funding round for social network Weplay. Weplay isn't going to work out — vertical social networks are so 2007 — but at least the sports-star troika can take heart in knowing they're following the same path as other fading jock stars. A bubble ago, John Elway, Michael Jordan, and Mike Piazza also let slick schemers take advantage of their egos and cash, funneling them into ill-thought-out, poorly timed investments on the Web. Our three favorite athlete-startup bloopers, below.