Amy Cunningham
After college most parents expect their graduates to find a traditional job and settle down, Dan Meers parents think he gets paid to play for a living.
On Wednesday, Meers, also known as KC Wolf, mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs, told children at Spring Hill Elementary and Spring Hill Intermediate schools that, instead of wearing a suit and tie to work, he gets to wear a suit and “tail”.

Meers helps Freeman into the wolf costume. Meers spoke to students at SHIS and Spring Hill Elementary School on Wednesday for assemblies on fitness. Staff photo by Amy Cunningham

For the past 21 years Meers, has used his KC Wolf character to connect with students.  He kicked off the assemblies with a video montage of himself dressed in costume, performing at games and participating in activities such as water skiing, bungee jumping and diving off of a platform.
Meers spoke about his background, starting out in college as the University of Missouri Tiger.  Right out of MU, he was hired as a mascot becoming Fred Bird for the St. Louis Cardinals. For two years he languished in the bird costume before getting a call from the Chiefs organization. According to Meers, making the move to Kansas City was a no-brainer.
“I did 81 games in the summer, and then the Chiefs called me and I realized I had the opportunity to do 10 games in the fall.  And, I didn’t look good in yellow tights.  The Chiefs wanted to know if I would wear this outfit and I look a lot better in fur than I did in those tights,” he chuckled.
Meers incorporated the SHIS theme, Becoming a Champion, into his program.  Borrowing from one of his favorite quotes, he told students, “Life is like a coin.  You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.”
Moving into his prepared program, the mascot told students about taking care of their bodies through diet and exercise.  He suggested students get in 60 minutes of activity each day.  He also promoted a healthy diet, referring to principles in the USDA Food Pyramid.  Meers emphasized his points by reminding students that the body they have now is the one they’ll have for the rest of their lives. He said diet and excercise keep him fit for his job.

Dan Meers helps Megan Freeman, a Spring Hill Intermediate student, spend a few moments in his large shoes. Meers portrays KC Wolf, the Kansas City Chiefs mascot. Staff photo by Amy Cunningham

Holding the students attention isn’t a problem for KC Wolf, a parent himself, who conducts between three and four hundred appearances like this each year.
“I think of what I do as ‘edutaining.’  I both educate and entertain, as soon as I walk in that door I’ll have their attention immediately,” he said, revealing his recipe for success, “The key to speaking to kids is to have fun and give them a message while you’re doing it.”