January 23, 2020

Flippin’ Awesome!


Chrisman Raises Funds for Bushfire Efforts

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Drue Chrisman is flippin’ awesome!

The fifth-year Ohio State senior, who will be one of the top punters – again – in the nation this fall for the Buckeyes, recently put his world-class “bottle flipping” skills to a wonderful and humanitarian use. He flipped 16-ounce water bottles for 24 consecutive hours in front of a live YouTube stream audience and raised more than $15,000 in pledges for the World Wildlife Fund’s Australia bushfire relief efforts.

He set an unofficial but possible world record by flipping, and successfully landing upright, 22,067 quarter-full bottles of water in the process. That’s about 919 flips an hour and just over 15 per minute … nonstop for 24 hours!

“I did a bunch of research and I can’t find where anyone has flipped more bottles in a 24-hour period,” Chrisman explained Wednesday.

Chrisman has become known for his bottle flipping exploits. Online research will reveal many of his fun and sometimes spectacular bottle flipping videos. The inspiration to do something important or philanthropic with his skillset had been on his mind for quite some time and was reinforced after Chrisman read David Goggin’s book “Can’t Hurt Me”.

“David Goggin, who’s spirit and determination was studied by the team this year, was always engaged in efforts to help various causes and I started to question what could I do,” Chrisman said.

When he realized the answer last Saturday, Chrisman didn’t waste any time. After a family dinner and axe throwing in a northern Kentucky restaurant, and then studying and doing homework until 1:30 a.m. Sunday, he went to sleep, got up for church that morning and then started setting up the event.

Fueled by Mom’s (Sheila) home cooking, the flipping of bottles onto a long, wooden table began at 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the Chrisman family home in Lawrenceburg, Ind. Chrisman was assisted by his father, Travis, fiancé Avery Eliason and others, and he didn’t stop flipping until 4:30 p.m. Monday.

The flip counter
Chrisman estimates that he flipped at least 30,000 bottles to get to his total of 22,067 successful flips. His father, who was with Drue for the first 21 hours, tracked every flip during that time on a hand-held pitch count device that he purchased for the occasion. He had to reset it twice as it only went up to 9,999.

At one point in the evening the Chrisman’s decided to cover the table with a towel because the hard wood was breaking down the bottom of the bottles used, 15 in all. One bottle was flipped for eight hours.

“I could have done even more for the environment had I used the towel earlier in the evening to protect the bottom of the bottles,” Chrisman later realized.

Chrisman had three rules: no one could flip bottles for him to keep the competition going; trips to the bathroom needed to be less than five minutes each; and no other breaks or stopping to rest, at all.

“I didn’t take my first break until 10 hours in,” Chrisman said, “and I only took five throughout the duration.”

From orange to red
Avery, who accepted Chrisman’s marriage proposal at halftime of the 2019 spring game in Ohio Stadium, was awake for a total of 18 hours. She did take a break, though; to sleep and she also dyed her hair.

“It’s funny that early on in the stream you can see her with orange hair and then she appears again later and her hair is bright red,” Chrisman said.

Avery’s father, Steve Eliason, provided spirit and energy in the 3-4 a.m. time range – the “dark days,” of the night, according to Chrisman – by inventing songs about raising money to help the koalas. Thus the social media hashtag #DollahForKoala.

 Those on hand, including Chrisman’s sister and her fiancé, played games such as Euchre, something called “wits and wager” and various trivia games. The games even included those who were watching on the stream. TVs were tuned in to capture Kansas City and San Francisco advancing to the Super Bowl.

Ohio State’s compliance office had approved the fund raiser as long as pledges were submitted directly to the World Wildlife Fund’s website. About three hours in and with only about $75 raised, one kind soul commented on the stream that he would donate $10,000 if Chrisman actually completed the 24-hour task.

He did!

Despite Mom’s best efforts – cheese sticks and marinara sauce, plenty of pasta, an egg casserole –  and lots of pistachios, Chrisman ended up “light” at his weigh-in Tuesday morning back on campus before his workout. By Thursday, his weight was back and he was back in business in the weight room.

Chrisman will take a break from bottle flipping for now. But the pride and joy and honor of doing something so flippin’ meaningful for others will stay with him for a long, long time.