Hearne: Is KC Wolf’s ‘Bungee’ Bummer a Career Ender & Will He Sue Chiefs?

article-2514054-19A92F9300000578-471_634x419Anybody else think the word “glitch” has been way overused lately?

First officials in the Obama administration – and shortly thereafter, the media – glommed onto the word in an effort to downplay the myriad problems with the Affordable Care Act website. A mere “glitch,” they said.

But two months worth of problems hardly qualifies as a “brief interruption.”

Which brings us to the mysterious case of Dan Meers aka the Kansas City Chiefs mascot known as KC Wolf. And what the Kansas City Star labeled a “glitch” that resulted in Meers being seriously hurt and having what could be career-ending back surgery while attempting a practice bungee jump from the stands to the field at Arrowhead Stadium.

Meers did not return calls for this column.

However the fact that the 46 year-old Chiefs mascot would try something that risky – and then slamming into the seats – raises the question of who made the call for Meers to attempt such a stunt.

article-2514054-19A9ACA700000578-915_306x423What’s more, the fact that Meers has retained a lawyer appears telling.

I’ve known and interviewed Dan from his earliest days with the team when he was young and single and a nicer guy you’ll be hard pressed to meet. But clearly what’s being described as a very serious back injury like Meers’ could a a career ended.

“As long as my body holds up, I plan on continuing,” Meers told me in 1998, in recognition that the wild and zany stunts it takes to be an NFL mascot were temporal in nature.

Even then – 15 years ago – Meers said, “I notice it takes a little longer to recover after a football game. More time in the hot tub afterward…I don’t know. I’m 31 now and the Chicken is 43. And I figure wolves eat chickens so … The oldest mascot I know is 46 now, but I’m having fun. I’d love to retire at 65. I tell my wife I plan to avoid real work as long as possible.”

And while Meers lawyer was careful to kiss up to the Chiefs and direct the fickle finger of blame towards the unnamed company that rigged the allegedly-flawed bungee system, it’s clear that if push comes to shove and Meers is forced to seek “real work,” the team is the one with the deepest pocket.

How sensitive is this elephant-in-the-room subject?

article-2514054-19A99EDA00000578-993_634x368

“I was sad to hear that the family has already spoken to an attorney for a lawsuit,,,,sure sure i know somone has to take some responsibility, but as a family I would hope to see healing as number 1 priority over the almighty dollar….that is what is wrong with out country,,,we are so lawsuit happy and greed has made us ugly,” commented Amanda on Fox 4‘s spam infested website.

To which another comment responded:

“Amanda, your cynical comment only highlights how very little you know about Dan or his family. Perhaps someone making snap judgments about what hurting people value is a bigger problem here. The Meers family is made up of some of the most generous, caring, compassionate people I’ve ever known. In fact, they would probably prefer I not waste my time responding to your ill-informed post.”

OwenAnd leave us not forget…

As noted in the blog WrestleFun Time, “Kansas City was where a similar accident led to the death of Owen Hart in 1999.”

A horrifying stunt at Kemper Arena witnessed by Westport Flea Market owner Joe Zwillenberg and a worldwide television audience.

Stay tuned…

 

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8 Responses to Hearne: Is KC Wolf’s ‘Bungee’ Bummer a Career Ender & Will He Sue Chiefs?

  1. Super Dave says:

    Damn hard to report the facts if you don’t have the facts. But it has appeared for a long time facts are not an issue on this website.

    Dan is in short an actor who’s job it is to act, lots of things I have seen him do could have hurt him very bad as well. Might have been equipment failure which cause the accident. We don’t know and as with any serious incident such as this both sides are not talking which is very normal since it was a on job accident and Dan is as well entitled and protected as well to some privacy when related to an health issue . Has the attorney been retained so fast just to make sure Dan gets all the treatment afford to him by law for making a recovery here? I have known this to happen and never a lawsuit one filed. How about this, why don’t we wait and see what the Chiefs and Dan have to say to us all, before you media dirt diggers proceed to splash a bunch of baloney, possibly lies or half truths guessing what you think might have happened for all to read and see.

    Better yet how about stories of the cool things Dan has done and how much he is missed and thoughts for a speedy recovery and hoping he is able to return some day. But no, guess that isn’t what gets your juices flowing does it Hearne?

    • admin says:

      Hey, everybody who has written about this has gone with what few facts were available, so if you have an issue….

      Just so happens that I have a history with Dan and had some telling quotes to fall back on to lend some perspective. I also called him like three times and he appeared to pick up, fumble with the phone and then click off.

      There’s nothing wrong with a somewhat educated reading of the tea leaves and reporting and interpreting the available facts. You certainly did not hesitate to offer your humble opinions.

      What’s the diff?

      Hey, I put in the calls.

  2. Mysterious J says:

    You going to get a free burger for the non-sequitur mention of Westport Flea Market?

  3. admin says:

    Nope.

    Just thought it was an interesting parallel. Thought of it myself and found the wrestling site mention when I Googled it.

  4. admin says:

    OK, here’s what I really think…

    My take is Meers wants/thinks/needs to keep a positive posture where the Chiefs are concerned…for now. For one, he doesn’t know how long he may be out of commish – maybe forever.

    A photographer at the Star had a debilitating health issue that went on for years – and finally forever – but because he was so highly regarded the newspaper kept him on well past the required maximum time (before cutting him loose).

    This is undoubtedly a consideration by Meers (to whatever extent).

    And whatever he and his family can do to keep a positive relationship with the team they will…if they’re smart. That said, when and if the time comes – depending on how bad it is – my guess is Meers will do what he has to do.

    The company that set up the rigging – contracted likely by either Meers and/or the Chiefs – hopefully has insurance. But that seems like a pretty small pocket to me.

    And they might not have it.

    Remember the party bus that woman fell out of the back of earlier this year?

    In a perfect world, Meers will heal and be OK but major back surgery is a scary thing.

    Hey, I know Dan. And he would make a great PT / promotions guy for the Chiefs. He could mentor future wolves and press some very serious flesh going forward.

    So if the team backs him all the way, my bet is he keeps them out of it to the extent that he can.

    Guess we’ll see.

  5. paulwilsonkc says:

    I don’t know this guy, met him several times as the Wolf and at events, from what I hear he’s just an incredibly GOOD guy.
    But insurance companies don’t spend a lot of time looking at the content of a person’s character, like your well-coiffed scribe does. Here’s where I’m afraid our man Dan is going to get the short end of a tomahawk. Whoever handles the risk assessment and insurance for the 3rd party promotion firm, and if I was litigating what is most certainly to become a case, is this; what are his out-years of viable income production in the line of work he’s chosen? That’s where they are going to have him and it’s going to be a sad deal, in my opinion.
    If I was a heartless attorney, and there are few other kinds, save the two on here and 3 of my friends, it’ll go like this; you’re 46, just how long did you think you could be the Wolf? Three more years, five more years; because that is the sum total of exposure; the case is DRT – dead right there!
    Let’s say the dude makes $150K as the Wolf, including appearance monies. He’ll get $750K for the out years of potential salary loss and a settlement based on long term damage done to him plus a kicker for extended medical care. $1.5M tops and they all walk away.

    • admin says:

      And what if he’s only making $100,000 a year? A $1 million settlement?

      And how much then will his lawyer get? Pro bono?

      The real question I’m wrestling with is will the Chiefs step up and give Meers a nice desk job in community relations or some such. You won’t find a nicer guy.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Yeah, agreed on who he IS, good, solid, Christian dude from what I know about him. If the Cheifs have a brain cell left, they will put him in promotions, let him do what he does best and offer every piece of assistance available. If they did what they did for Jovans baby, whats this guy have coming to him, theres the real question.