PHILADELPHIA -- Two members of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles got an up-close look at the NHL's Battle of Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
Jason Kelce and Mychal Kendricks were on hand for the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center, and Kendricks was a guest broadcaster between the benches with Pierre McGuire during the first period of the Wednesday Night Rivalry game on NBCSN.
Video: Eagles player Mychal Kendricks joins Pierre McGuire
Kendricks, a linebacker, said before the game that he was anxious about his hockey broadcasting debut, but after spending time at ice level, he's ready to go back.
"I want more and more," Kendricks said. "I want more of it. I want to go back down there."
Kendricks said McGuire was able to educate him on hockey while they were between the benches.
"The highlight was having Pierre down there with me," he said. "Even though we were working, he was able to teach me the game as much as he could as I was experiencing it. He's a guy who coached at the highest level and now broadcasting at the highest level, I don't think you can have a better teacher."
McGuire also served as a bodyguard for the 6-foot, 240-pound Kendricks.
"Stick almost hit me in the face, puck flew right in front of me, couple times I had to duck into the corner," Kendricks said. "Pierre was trying to protect me. He said, 'I got you.'"
Kendricks, who has spent his entire six-season NFL career with the Eagles, wanted to become a hockey player growing up in Fresno, California.
"I was heavily influenced by my Aunt Irene's neighbor's son who was an avid hockey player at the time," Kendricks said. "He was 10, and I was maybe 5 or 6. I just wanted to play something, I wanted to be active.
"It was almost he first sport I played but due to the initial expense on getting started, between signing up, team travel and gear … we just didn't have the money to do that. I remember my mom calling Iceoplex [skating rink in Fresno] and seeing how much it cost to sign up, and it was just too expensive."
After his broadcasting gig, Kendricks put on a personalized Flyers jersey then joined Kelce, who was also sporting a Philadelphia home jersey and incredible Flyers-themed top hat, to sing the Eagles' fight song, "Fly Eagles Fly."
Kelce was a hockey player growing up in Cleveland and used to live near Flyers captain Claude Giroux. He gave the Flyers a pep talk in the locker room before the game, but it wasn't to the extent of his famed speech on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum after the Eagles' Super Bowl victory parade.
"Didn't matter what I said tonight, this is such a big game," Kelce said. "You can see it in their eyes, they are ready to come out. Some guys tell jokes before the game, but [Giroux] came up to me and you could tell they weren't in a joking mood tonight."