Dan Meers, who performs as KC Wolf, was planning the most spectacular pregame entrance into Arrowhead Stadium in his 24 years playing the Chiefs’ mascot.
But an apparent glitch involving a bungee cord caused the skit to go horribly wrong during Saturday’s rehearsal at Arrowhead.
Meers, 46, was to descend onto the field before Sunday’s game against San Diego from a bungee cord, a riskier maneuver than his rousing entrance onto the field from a zip line before the home opener against Dallas in September.
“This was a modification of the zip-line stunt that he did opening day …” Meers’ attorney, Tim Dollar, said Tuesday. “The modification involved was the use of a bungee. … It would be a little more dramatic to have a bungee cord as you’re traversing across (the stadium).”
But during the rehearsal, Meers careened into seats in the upper deck of the stadium, where he suffered serious injuries that “appear to be related to the manner in which a third-party company secured the riggings,” Dollar said.
The injuries required surgery, and Meers is hospitalized in serious but stable condition, Dollar said. Dollar would not specify the injuries or confirm reports Meers suffered a broken back but said Meers has full use of his arms and legs.
“We are investigating the circumstances of this accident,” Dollar said. “A third-party company was contractually responsible for the entire stunt. Its rigging, its design, the way it would go down (to the field).”
Neither Dollar nor the Chiefs, when asked, would identify the name of the third-party company.
Meers, hired by the Chiefs as their mascot in 1989, is known for his animated entrances, often riding a motorcycle onto the field and “beating up” a mascot representing the Chiefs’ opponent.
He became the first NFL mascot inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame in 2006. Meers formerly performed as Fredbird, the mascot of the St. Louis Cardinals, and as Truman, the mascot at the University of Missouri, where he was selected the nation’s No. 1 college mascot at the 1989 National Collegiate Mascot Championships. He was runner-up in 1988 and 1990.
He has represented the Chiefs at the Pro Bowl three times and also appeared in the 2004 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
But why, at this stage in his career, was he attempting such a dangerous skit last weekend?
“He is a performer,” Dollar said, “and he relies upon experts in the field to make it safe.”
Meers, married and the father of three, “is grateful to the Chiefs organization for its support during this time and cooperation as we look into the circumstances,” Dollar said.
The Chiefs have said those who want to express get-well wishes can send them to Meers in care of the Chiefs at One Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City, Mo., 64129.