Ron Cook: An appreciation of Duck Hodges’ improbable Steelers run


I grew up listening to a Possum call baseball games. I know a Kitten, Quail, Dog and Tiger won a World Series with the Pirates. I watched a Goose make the Hall of Fame. I saw a Mad Dog help the Steelers to four Super Bowl wins and another Mad Dog help the Pirates to a world championship with a big assist from a Cobra. I wrote about a Moose with the Penguins.

Then, there was a Duck.

The Steelers’ Duck Dynasty was brief but as memorable as any period in Pittsburgh sports.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

We didn’t know a thing about Devlin Hodges when he signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of Samford in May 2019 with seemingly no chance of making the team. He might as well have been Gil Hodges, as far as anyone around here was concerned. But by the time Duck left town last week, everyone knew him. He went from being a sports nobody to playing Pittsburgh’s most scrutinized, pressure-filled position. He wasn’t just the Steelers quarterback in 2019. He nearly led the team to the playoffs.

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