A story of obsession, glory, and the wild early days of Ultimate Frisbee.
Before he made a name for himself as an acclaimed essayist and nature writer, David Gessner devoted his 20s to a cultish sport called Ultimate Frisbee. Like his teammates and rivals, he trained for countless hours, sacrificing his body and potential career for a chance at fleeting glory without fortune or fame. His only goal: to win Nationals and go down in Ultimate history as one of the greatest athletes no one has ever heard of.
Today Ultimate is played by millions of people around the world, with professional teams in more than two dozen cities. In the 1980s it was an obscure sport with a (mostly) undeserved stoner reputation. Its early heroes, key players like Kenny Dobyns, Steve Mooney, Tom Kennedy, and David Barkan, were as scrappy as the sport they loved, driven by fierce competition, intense rivalries, epic parties, and the noble ideals of the Spirit of the Game.
Ultimate Glory is a portrait of the artist as a young ruffian. Driven by ambition, whimsy, love, and vanity, Gessner lives for those moments when he loses himself completely in the game. He shares the field and his seemingly insane obsession with a cast of closely knit, larger-than-life characters. As his sport grows up, so does he, and eventually he gives up chasing flying discs to pursue a career as a writer. But he never forgets his love for this misunderstood sport and the rare sense of purpose he attained as a member of its priesthood.
©2017 David Gessner (P)2017 Penguin Audio