“Hacky sack guy” sets record, students show support

Students met at Speakers Circle to celebrate Derrick Fogle, who set the Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled in one hour while kicking a hacky sack.
Derrick Fogle, “hacky sack guy,” performed in Speakers Circle on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019.

Despite the rain, members of the MU community gathered at Speakers Circle on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. to celebrate Derrick Fogle, 55, and his new world record.

Fogle, commonly known to the MU community as the “hacky sack guy,” since he is frequently found practicing his hacky sack, or footbag, skills in Speakers Circle, an activity that Fogle said he has been doing for around 25 years.

He began playing hacky sack on campus in a group, but as the years went on, Fogle has remained to practice by himself, he said.

“I’m like a rock in the stream of students flowing through,” Fogle said. “Years and years and years of being out there builds that thing where people hear about me before they see me. Then they finally see me. They’re here for four or five years, and they see me all four or five years.”

On Dec. 17, 2018, Fogle announced on Twitter that he set the Guinness World Record for “distance travelled while controlling a footbag in one hour” at the 2018 US Freestyle Footbag Championships in Las Vegas in December.

According to Fogle’s Twitter, there was no previous record holder for this title, but the record had a 5 kilometer minimum. Fogle surpassed this minimum and garnered the title after traveling 5,053.9 meters while kicking a hacky sack over the course of the hour.

Fogle has been recognized for his dedication to footbag before, having been inducted into the Footbag Hall of Fame in 2005 and previously holding the world record for most consecutive footbag kicks in five minutes, but he said that this achievement carries a special importance to him.

“This one actually feels more significant than anything I’ve ever done in the sport of footbag,” Fogle said. “It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done with a hacky sack by a fairly significant margin. I really had to push myself to the limit.”

Also, whereas his induction into the Footbag Hall of Fame was noted among his peers, this world record brought in wider recognition, Fogle said.

“It’s really more of a thing to me, you know, than anything else has been just because there’s so much more excitement about it,” Fogle said. “Everybody else is excited about it, so I’ve got to be excited about it.”

Junior education major Chase Mueller helped organize the celebration, creating a Facebook event titled “Hacky-Sack Guy Celebration!!” shortly after Fogle announced his record.

On Facebook, over 500 people marked themselves as going to the event, and over 1,100 marked themselves as interested. Mueller expected this response, he said.

“Everybody loves hacky sack guy,” Mueller said. “With the right marketing, the guy sells himself basically.”

With the event, Mueller wanted to celebrate Fogle’s positive impact on campus and Speakers Circle.

“Sometimes you see a lot of not so great things in Speakers Circle, things that almost take away from how cool the free speech that exists here is,” Mueller said. “When you have people like hacky sack guy that bring a lighter mood to things... then that’s pretty cool.”

Freshman pre-nursing major Stephanie Ingberg decided to attend the celebration after learning about it through Facebook. In doing so, Ingberg wanted to show support and appreciation for Fogle and his mark on the MU campus.

“Walking to classes, seeing him, it really brightens my day,” Ingberg said.

When Fogle found out about the event, he was expecting a turnout of five to 10 people. However, he was floored when around 40 people showed up.

“Especially for the weather and everything, to get 40 people out there to recognize me is one of those things where this energy and this positive feedback I get from the students is so profound and it’s so powerful,” Fogle said. “It’s so incredible to me that these young people are kind of excited about what some old guy is out there doing, playing hacky sack.”

At the event, Fogle gave a brief speech detailing his history with the sport and his recent accomplishment, then showcased his footbag skills for the attendees.

Mueller said he hopes the event makes Fogle feel appreciated.

“I’d want him to leave thinking that what he does is really special to a lot of people — students, faculty, himself, just anyone who sees him do it,” Mueller said.

Edited by Emily Wolf | ewolf@themaneater.com

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