Farewell, flat flip flies straight

Farewell, flat flip flies straight

On February 9, 2010, the world lost an inventor who has brought joy to boys, girls, and border collies all over the world.

Frederick Morrison (nee Walter Frederick Morrison), inventor of the Frisbee, died at age 90.

Frederick Morrison

Frederick Morrison

Being on a frisbee team is about as close as I got to being athletic in high school.   We used to do all kinds of things with those plastic discs.  I once threw one 87 yards (measured, on a football field)…without moving my feet.  We would throw them through the open window of a passing car (only with the driver knowing it was coming, of course). 

We played the “official games”…Ultimate Frisbee, and Guts Frisbee.  Ultimate is fun…it’s basically like soccer with a frisbee.  Even jocks might join us on that, and that was okay with me.  I had a really good eye for where the frisbee was going to go.  I loved it when I casually strolled over to the spot, and some guy had run thirty yards too far, turned around, sprinted back…and didn’t quite beat me to it.  We even had a special throw for that, called “the elevator”.  The frisbee would go out quite aways, and then come straight down…like dropping down an elevator shaft.  That was nothing like a football, of course, so the traditional athletes were constantly outrunning it.  I could catch the frisbee, continue to rotate my hand above my elbow, making a “thumb flip” so I could catch and throw all in one smooth motion.

Guts, on the other hand, was one of the stupidest games ever.  You basically stood ten feet apart from each other and threw the frisbee as hard as you could at your opponents so the other team couldn’t catch it.  We actually had frisbee injuries with that one…I think somebody broke a finger.  I believe we used a 165 gram model…pretty heavy.

Not as heavy as something else we used, even though it wasn’t official.  We had the base of one of those orange traffic cones.  It easily weighed ten pounds, maybe more.  We called it a “medicine frisbee.”  You really had to be careful, and catch it by the hole in the middle, swinging your arm back to take the momentum.  It did fly like a frisbee, though.  One time, somebody threw it twenty yards or so, and the catcher let it go by.  It happened to hit a passerby right in the back of the knees, lifting him off his feet and flat on to his back.  He was not amused.   I can’t honestly say that we all shared his reaction.

So, here’s to you, Frederick Morrison!  May we all remember those immortal words of wisdom:

Flat flip flies straight


Official Frisbee Wham-O Frisbee page


Classic Frisbee  (under $5)

175 gram Ultimate Frisbee 

50th Anniversary Pluto Platter (that’s what they were called before being sold to Wham-O)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

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