Sports Spectrum Weekly

Chiefs mascot KC Wolf, a.k.a. Dan Meers, finds identity in Christ following severe injury

When Dan Meers ran on the field as KC Wolf with the Kansas City Chiefs during Sunday’s Super Bowl, all fans saw was the traditional Chiefs’ mascot: a googly-eyed wolf. What they were actually watching was a miracle.

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In November 2013, during preparation for a home game versus the San Diego Chargers, Meers practiced a stunt that involved him bungee jumping out of Arrowhead Stadium’s lights, dropping 20 feet, and being carried over the field by a zip line. Instead, Meers dropped 75 feet, crashing into the seats on the upper deck of the stadium, breaking seven ribs, collapsing his lung, fracturing his tailbone, crushing his sacrum and breaking his T-12 vertebra, the largest vertebra on the spine.

“The doctors told me, ‘You’re fortunate to still be around,’ ” Meers told The Topeka Capital-Journal in 2016. “I tell people I don’t believe in luck — I don’t even believe it was an accident. In the back of my Bible, I wrote down a quote many, many years ago — ‘There’s no such things as accidents. They’re just incidents in God’s perfect plan for my life.’”

Meers, who has been the Chiefs’ mascot since 1989 (and was inducted into the National Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006), wasn’t sure if he’d ever be able to perform as KC Wolf again, and endured constant pain in his recovery process. But that was a time Meers said deepened his faith in God.

“You can learn so many valuable lessons when you’re going through the difficult times in life,” he told the Capital-Journal. “I meet people all the time who are going though painful times. Everybody experiences pain. Mine was more physical pain, but for others, it’s emotional or relationship pain. Everybody goes through difficult times. Hopefully, I use my story to try to encourage people. I still wake up with pain almost every morning. It’s no fun, but I can choose to rise and shine or rise and whine. I don’t want to be a whiner. I want to make a difference.”

Meers eventually recovered to the point he could resume his work as KC Wolf, although his days of bungee jumping and four-wheeling have been toned down a bit. However, whether on the field of the Super Bowl or in a preseason game, Meers sees what he gets to do as a gift. He travels and speaks at schools, conferences, and church events, and has vowed not to take for granted the time he’s been given.

“Honestly, KC Wolf — that’s what I do,” he said. “It’s not who I am. I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. My identity is I’m a child of God — that’s my true identity right there. KC Wolf is what I do, and I love what I do. And one day, I’ll pass it on to somebody else, but while I have this platform, I hope to use it to make a positive impact in this world.”

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