Before the Apostle Paul could write a substantial portion of the New Testament, God had to get his attention in a dramatic way on the road to Damascus. Dan Meers, the man who has portrayed KC Wolf, the furry mascot of the Kansas City Chiefs, since 1990, had a similar experience before writing his book. He told the story to over 700 people in attendance at the 57th annual Kansas Prayer breakfast, which was held the morning of March 14 at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, 420 S.E. 6th Street in Downtown Topeka. The event was sponsored by Topeka Fellowship Inc., as it is every year.
Meers has long been known for his pregame antics at Arrowhead and decided to take them to the next level for Military Appreciation Day during the 2013 season.
“The plan for my pregame entrance was to have KC Wolf, dressed in Army fatigues, jump out of the lights at the top of the stadium and zip line down to the field,” he said. “The zip line attached to the lights above the press box on the south side of the stadium. It then stretched all the way across the field to the north side and connected to the huge steel beams that connected another bank of lights. The zip line hung 260 feet above the field.”
As if that weren’t enough of a challenge, he decided to begin the entrance by jumping off the lights on a 20-foot bungee cord. Meers practiced the stunt on the crisp Saturday afternoon of Nov. 23. As soon as he jumped, he knew something was wrong.
“I was supposed to free fall about 20 feet, and then the bungee cord would bounce me back up and I would begin so zip line out over the football field,” he said. “However, instead of falling 20 feet, I fell 75 feet. I hit the seats so hard that I knocked two of them out of the concrete where they were mounted. The bungee pulled me back up, and I traveled 200 feet above the field, hanging from the bungee cord.”
Needless to say, the injuries were extensive – seven broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a fractured tailbone, to name a few – and rehabilitation was a long, painful journey. Meers decided to make something of the unexpected time off. With nothing but time on his hands, God reminded him about the book that had been on his bucket list for some time, and the life-changing experience was the catalyst for finally writing his book, “Wolves Can’t Fly.”
“I decided that if I was ever going to do it, this was the time. I realized I had an opportunity to share not only about being a mascot but about how faithful God is.”
While some thought him lucky to be alive after the accident, Meers thought he was instead blessed.
Meers told the audience he believes there are “no such things as accidents – just incidents in God’s plan.”
God always has a purpose behind the pain, he said, and the greater lessons are learned in pain.
While recuperating, Meers concluded that the most meaningful things in his life were not “things,” but relationships: his faith, family & friends. Meers, 50, became emotional several times while relating the story, and stated that his number one goal now is to love other people.
He noted that when he was gone it wouldn’t be important how many years he was the Chiefs’ mascot.
“If the only thing they say is ‘He loved God and loved people’ – I’m good with that,” Meers said.
God wants to have a relationship with you,” Meers told the audience. He mentioned the story in the Bible where the disciples were in a boat when the storms arose, which were then calmed by Jesus.
He said that if you want peace in your life, “peace comes from having Jesus in your boat.”
Fear and faith are both contagious, he said, and noted that the decision to be made is “which one to feed.”
“Every day you have something to be thankful for and something to complain about,” he said. “Whichever you focus on – that’s what kind of day you will have.” He explained that he could have focused on death, paralysis or pain – but instead decided to focus on positive things.
“You can ‘rise & shine’ or ‘rise & whine,’” he said.
Gov. Jeff Colyer was also on hand for the breakfast, along with a number of legislators and other state and local officials.
In his remarks to the audience, Colyer noted that although there were lot of politicians at the breakfast, they were outnumbered ten-to-one by pastors and their spouses.”
Colyer noted that it was important for all of us to pray for pastors and spouses, in the same way they pray for elected officials.
As he also talked about the importance of faith and family, Colyer stressed the importance of using your life to make an impact.