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Birds of a feather

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Penguins

Birds of a feather flock together.

And the same can be said for Pittsburgh sports teams.

That was never truer than Wednesday night when Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Devlin 'Duck' Hodges, linebacker Devin Bush and long snapper Kameron Canaday and new Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton attended the Penguins game against the St. Louis Blues at PPG Paints Arena.

But obviously, when it comes to flocking together, Duck and the Penguins are a natural fit.

"I gotta root for the Penguins. The Penguins are my team," Hodges said. "I'm glad to be here. It's a lot of fun. I have family from around Pittsburgh who are big Penguins fans. So, I'm familiar with the history."

Of course, his feelings have changed since the Penguins beat the Nashville Predators in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

Tweet from @penguins: We don���t hate you either, Devlin.

Hodges, who goes by the nickname 'Duck' after competing in duck calling competitions from his youth, is 2-0 as the Steelers' starting quarterback this season, and that doesn't include a come-from-behind victory at Cincinnati when he entered the game in the second half. This Sunday he will lead the Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals in the desert.

Until then he was taking in his "other" favorite sport, hockey. Which he played growing up in his hometown of Kimberly, Alabama.

"Hockey is actually the first sport that I played. My mom and dad told me I could ice skate before I could walk. Though I don't know how much I believe that," Hodges said with a smile. "Hockey isn't the biggest sport in Alabama. My dad grew up ice skating. He was really into roller rink hockey. That was the first sport I played. Then I started playing football. I chose football. I think that was a good decision."

Tweet from @penguins: 🦆💛🐧We're feelin' #BurghProud. Thanks for joining us tonight, @DevlinHodges10!

"Hockey is my favorite sport to watch. I always enjoyed the atmosphere of hockey games and the action."

Bush was the Steelers' first-round pick (10th overall) in last April's NFL Draft. The middle linebacker grew up in Florida and played collegiately at Michigan. While football is in his blood - his father played eight seasons in the NFL as a safety - hockey is a new sport for him.

"This is my second Penguins game," said Bush, who has 54 tackles, one sack and two interceptions on the season. "I'm super excited. I want to learn a new sport. I'm learning it. It's really fast-paced and physical. It's also agile too at the same time. I like the balance of gracefulness and aggressiveness. It's like controlled chaos."

Shelton was introduced as the Pirates new manager this afternoon at a press conference inside PNC Park. He previously worked as a bench coach for Minnesota and hitting coach for Cleveland, Tampa Bay and Toronto (quality control).

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