Meeting the man in Wolf’s clothing

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Students from the Hillsboro Elementary School enjoyed a surprise visitor Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 21, when KC Wolf, the popular mascot of the Kansas City Chiefs, was a guest at a school assembly.

The Wolf was in town because HES fourth-grader Erin Wiebe was one of 20 winners from more than 4,000 entrants in “The Power Behind the Play with 3-Dairy-a-Day” drawing contest.

Sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Association, the contest required participating students in grades one through six to design a milk bottle that included the importance of 3-Dairy-a-Day and the Chiefs scoring a touchdown.

In addition to the appearance by KC Wolf, Wiebe was presented a life-sized Dante Hall Growth Poster and a gift bag at the assembly.

KC Wolf, otherwise known as Dan Mears, delighted the students when he took off this costume and allowed Wiebe to become a miniature KC Wolf, 85-inch hips and all.

Mears is in his 16th season as the Chiefs’ mascot. Prior to his reign in Kansas City, Mears was “Fredbird,” the mascot of the St. Louis Cardinals for a season and, prior to that, was the mascot for the University of Missouri Tigers.

Mears told the children his top-four favorite things about being K.C. Wolf:

1. Getting paid to act goofy.

2. Wearing a suit and tail to work instead of a suit and tie.

3. Getting to meet members of the Kansas City Chiefs.

4. Getting to hug the Chiefs cheerleaders.

Mears said his days of hugging have been limited in recent years following his wedding.

“Twelve years ago, the wolf married a fox and that fox doesn’t like me hugging cheerleaders,” he said with a laugh.

Wearing his 40-pound costume requires him to stay in peak physical condition, Mears said.

“In order to do that, I need to exercise, eat a healthy diet and drink lots of milk,” Mears said.

Wiebe is the daughter of Glenn and Maura Wiebe of Hillsboro.

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