During his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, Brian Westbrook contributed a number of game-changing plays.
One of his most well-known occurred in 2003 against the Giants. Westbrook returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown with one minute and sixteen seconds left in the game. It gave the Eagles a 14-10 win.
After a sluggish 2-3 start, many pointed to the play as the turning point in their season which ended in a loss in the NFC Championship Game.
Pennsylvania is currently experiencing its own game-changing moment with the advent of online sports betting.
Westbrook remains tied to sports via SeventySix Capital
Westbrook is a member of SeventySix Capital Athlete Venture Group. The venture capital company invests in startup companies in the sports tech, eSports, and sports betting industries. Westbrook also serves as a brand ambassador for FanDuel.
In an interview with PlayPennsylvania.com, Westbrook shared his thoughts on a possible Super Bowl matchup, mobile betting apps like FandDuel, fantasy football, and how hard it is not to pick the Eagles to go 16-0.
PlayPennsylvania: Venture capital partner at SeventySix Capital Ryan Howard (and former Philadelphia Phillie) said it’s the “wild west of gambling in America right now.” Do you agree with that and what are your thoughts on sports betting in Pennsylvania?
Westbrook: People have been betting on sports for years. Instead of running down to meet your local bookie behind the shopping center, this is legal. And now you can use your app at home or where ever you’re at. Apps like FanDuel are easy, fast, convenient, and reliable.
I’m happy for states like Pennsylvania for taking the chance on sports betting. It was happening anyway and at least the revenue can be collected.
PlayPennsylvania: How have you seen the NFL change its stance on sports betting?
Westbrook: Originally, the NFL wanted to be the “we’re clean, we don’t gamble” type. But with fantasy football and all the things going on around sports, they understood sports betting was happening. They wanted to come in and do it in an organized fashion. For the NFL, they are progressing and they understand where the market is going. Now they have the opportunity to take advantage of it.
PlayPennsylvania: Training camp recently started. What about the sports betting industry almost excites you as much as a new season starting?
Westbrook: I love football. As an analyst, I like it even better now when training camp starts. As a player, it’s always tough. It’s the dog days of summer. When you are talking about sports betting, what gets me excited is that instead of traveling to New Jersey now I can stay in the comfort of my own home in Pennsylvania and bet from my couch. I can go to a site like FanDuel and make a bet.
Westbrook an active bettor and fantasy player
PlayPennsylvania: Do you bet?
Westbrook: Yes, I do. I’m Villanova alum (+3,300 to win the National Championship) so I love college basketball.
I think the Eagles have a chance. I love figuring out what is the best bet to make on my Birds. As long as people can stay healthy, I think we have a chance.
PlayPennsylvania: What is your projected Super Bowl matchup?
Westbrook: Of course I have to go with my Eagles from the NFC. And I’m thinking, I would love to see them play Andy Reid and that Chiefs team. It would be absolutely awesome.
PlayPennsylvania: You played eight seasons with the Eagles under Andy Reid. How hard to bet with your head and not your heart?
I still struggle. There are many times I end up placing my wagers with my heart instead of my head and I always kick myself for it. I don’t have a problem with betting with my heart. You try to make responsible smart bets. Use the information you have and for me, what you see as a former, then you make a bet.
It’s still tough because there are times I think the Eagles can go 16-0. The truth is they will end up losing a couple games.
PlayPennsylvania: Before it entered the sports betting market, FanDuel was known for its daily fantasy football site. Do you play fantasy football?
Westbrook: I love fantasy football. Having the ability to pick players on a week-by-week-basis is cool.
PlayPennsylvania: If you had the top pick in your fantasy football draft, whom would you select?
Westbrook: I always tend to take a running back. I love guys like Alvin Kamara that run the ball and catch it out of the backfield. He’s a guy who has a nose for the end zone. I like Zeke Elliot. He’s going to touch the ball a lot. I start with a running back, then move to a wide receiver and quarterback later on.
PlayPennsylvania: What did you think of fantasy football during your playing days? There are a lot of angry tweets directed at players who might have cost fantasy teams their games.
Westbrook: When I was playing I wasn’t concerned about fantasy football. I was more concerned with helping my team win which is the goal of every player. I didn’t hear about it until the offseason. I’ve heard comments “hey you cost me the game.” I also heard people say “you won my team money.” The one thing I never hear them say is “here’s your cut.” They never mention that.