Like many of the Kansas City Chiefs’ players and coaches, Dan Meers knows what to expect during Super Bowl week. He’s been through the routine twice before as KC Wolf, the team’s mascot, a role he’s held since 1990.
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Meers got his start as a mascot while a student at the University of Missouri and won a national competition of collegiate mascots as Truman the Tiger, which led to an offer to be Fredbird, the St. Louis Cardinals’ mascot. Shortly after that, the Chiefs asked if Meers would be interested in being the person to start up their mascot program, and he jumped at the opportunity.
“I’ve got my mascot resume and I’ve got my human resume, and apparently the mascot one looked a little better,” Meers said last week in an interview with Sports Spectrum.
Being a mascot, however, nearly cost him his life. On Nov. 23, 2013, while practicing a stunt inside Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, Meers was supposed to drop 20 feet and have a zip line carry him over the field. Instead, he fell 75 feet and landed on the seats in the upper deck of the stadium.
While recovering from the broken ribs, collapsed lung, fractured tailbone, crushed sacrum and broken T-12 vertebra he suffered from the fall, Meers — who gave his life to Christ in high school — wrestled with how the incident could fit into God’s plan for his life.
“The hard thing about pain is it will make you into someone you don’t want to be because it makes you self-focused,” he said. “All you can focus on is your pain. … I don’t want my focus to be on me. I want my focus to be No. 1 on the Lord and No. 2 on those around me.”
During his recovery, Meers made a concerted effort to focus on the things he was grateful for rather than the things he could complain about. He even wrote a book about his experience as a mascot called “Wolves Don’t Fly.”
“There’s a lot of joy in the Christian life,” he said. “It drives me crazy when I meet Christians who walk around like they’ve been sucking on a lemon. I made up my mind I didn’t want to be that guy, you know? If we want people to be attracted to our Savior, we can’t go walking around like we’ve been sucking on a lemon.”
In addition to being KC Wolf on game days, Meers travels the country visiting schools and speaking at conferences. His goal is the same every time he speaks: pat people on the back and kick them in the butt. Most of his talks focus on leadership and making the most of every day.
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Meers also shares about his faith during his speaking engagements and tries to pour into those around him as much as possible.
“We can use [the choices we make] to make an impact not only in our own lives, but more importantly in the lives of others,” he said. “I believe as Christians that’s what we’re called to do, that God didn’t put us on this earth to make a living. He put us here to make an impact.”
KC Wolf has a jam-packed schedule in Phoenix leading up to Super Bowl LVII, including media appearances, community events and a variety of other commitments. As he heads to a third Super Bowl, Meers is thankful for the ways God has been at work in his life, even using that accident as a way to encourage others.
“I’ve met so many great people, and the Lord’s just opened up so many opportunities for me to go out and hopefully just try to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world,” he said. “That’s my goal.”
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