Dan Meers just returned from his third Super Bowl in four years. Some consider him the best at his position: Chiefs’ mascot, KC Wolf.
But what excites him most about the exposure of the team’s recent success is the opportunity to live out his faith among the people he entertains.
“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,” Meers told Sports Spectrum just before Sunday’s Super Bowl, which the Chiefs’ won 38-35. “That’s my goal.”
That goal has remained the same since 1990, when Meers first put on the costume. The year before, he was selected as the nation’s #1 college mascot at the 1989 National Collegiate Mascot Championships, playing Truman the Tiger for the University of Missouri.
Many fans in and around Kansas City will remember Meers’ brush with death as KC Wolf in 2013. During a practice stunt involving a bungee jump from Arrowhead Stadium’s lights, Meers fell 75 feet directly onto seating in the upper deck. He was fortunate to survive, but suffered several broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a broken vertebra, and several other injuries.
“The doctors told me, ‘You’re fortunate to still be around,’” Meers said of the injuries.
Unsure of whether he would ever be KC Wolf again, Meers leveraged the pain as an opportunity to deepen his relationship with God.
“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 told Sports Spectrum. “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.”
Amazingly, Meers recovered and returned to his role as KC Wolf the following season. He is currently the NFL’s longest tenured mascot.
Meers’ faith and character have not gone unnoticed, even among some of the NFL’s biggest names.
“For those who have watched Dan perform as KC Wolf,” said Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy, “it’s easy to see that he is quite a character. For those of us who know the man inside the costume, it is obvious he is also a man of character.
“Hearing his incredible story will not only give you an appreciation for Dan Meers the mascot but, more importantly, for Dan Meers, the man behind the mask.”
When he’s not donning the signature wolf costume, Meers travels the country to speak at various events, including at schools, to share the wisdom he’s gained throughout his journey. His message contains advice on life, leadership and faith.
“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. 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,” Meers said, according to Sports Spectrum.
Though he was inducted into the National Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006 as KC Wolf, that honor pales in comparison to being a child of God.
“Honestly, KC Wolf — that’s what I do, 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,” Meers says. “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.”