Cosell and Cosell are happily indistinguiShable. Man and book contain that same prickly candor, same slicked-down pugnacity, same lachrymose tone, same heuristic attitude, same hectoring presence. Be it recalling an admired and departed friend -- ""Jackie Robinson. Unconquerable. He was the most unconquerable human being I have ever known. I loved him."" Be it attacking Mr. Olympic Games -- ""You always know where he stands, and he'll fight anyone for what he believes in. . . . The only trouble with Avery Brundage is that he believes in all the wrong things."" Be it lecturing sports entrepreneurs re their ""callous disregard for the good of the whole society."" That's the Howard Cosell we have come to know and love or hate, as the case may be. Here he comments on the personalities of contemporary sport (from Vince Lombardi to Ali), reports the great events (from the ""obscene"" Munich Olympiad to the Dodgers' desertion of Brooklyn -- a ""betrayal""), spins anecdotes and preachments faster than you can say ABC Sports, supplies essential background on his career origins (trained as a lawyer, doing well until a ""freakish radio opportunity"" wooed him into reporting), and sets forth his philosophy of sports journalism (he's always attempted ""to explore the issues"" -- the impact of increased leisure time, the questions of race and dissent, the shift toward a suburban America -- the socioeconomics of play, if you will). Self-described as ""an incurable needier,"" Cosell will get to you one way or another. So will his book.