KC Wolf visits Weir Attendance Center
By Kevin Flaherty | THE MORNING SUN
WEIR — First, there was the body, complete with the hula hoop hips.
Then, after laying down, Autumn Rion, Weir Attendance Center fourth grader, slipped on the giant floppy shoes. And finally, there was the KC Wolf's head, complete with the rolling googly eyes.
Rion then walked around the Weir gymnasium in the oversize costume and, to end the assembly, swooshed her hips around.
The turnabout was unexpected — when Rion won her school a visit from the Kansas City Chiefs' mascot, she said she had no idea it would be her donning the costume.
"I liked it, but it was really embarrassing," said Rion, who put on the costume and walked in front of the whole school. "It felt really weird. It was just so big. The hips were huge."
Rion won the visit through a poster drawing contest for the Midwest Dairy Association, drawing a football field with cows playing football in front of a fan base filled with dairy products. The association named 20 winners out of more than 4,000 entries throughout the Midwest.
The prize was a visit from Dan Meers, who just finished up his 18th year as Kansas City's spirit leader.
"There's a lot more ibuprofen in the mornings than there used to be," Meers said.
Meers spoke on behalf of the Midwest Dairy Association Thursday, speaking with students about the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet, which he said enabled him to carry around a 35- to 40-pound costume ... when dry.
Meers said the program was one of many he helped to teach, from saying no to drugs to reading and the need to keep up with physical fitness.
That's one lesson he can relate to. Meers needs all of that energy to stay active, and as he showed this year, tackle the occasional unruly fan. During the game against the Minnesota Vikings, Meers helped security officers round up a fan who had jumped on the field before belly flopping on top of the fan to a chorus of cheers.
Meers said it wasn't the first time he had to tackle a fan, citing the 2001 or 2002 Pro Bowl in Hawaii as another example of when he had to take out a fan on the field.
"I don't like tackling our fans at Arrowhead," Meers said. "But if they are breaking the rules ...
"My wife said I should have taken the guy out to dinner for all the publicity he got me," Meers said.
Following the presentation, Meers answered questions, ranging from his thoughts on the Oakland Raiders ("I like them about as much as Denver, how about that?") to his favorite Kansas City Chiefs player.
"I don't think that I should say," Meers said. "A few years ago, my favorite player was a fullback, Tony Richardson, who was a nice guy and helped me out a lot. Then, he got traded ... then last year, my favorite player was quarterback Trent Green, another really nice guy. Well, he got traded to the Miami Dolphins this year.
"So I don't think I should say who my favorite player is," Meers said. "I don't want to be the kiss of death."
After speaking, Meers helped Rion into the costume.
"Doesn't she look like a Hershey Kiss right now?" Meers asked after Rion put on the body, which nearly touched the floor.
"He was really nice and funny," Rion said. "I liked him. Go Chiefs."