From novelist/screenwriter Goldman (Marathon Man, The Princess Bride, Adventures in the Screen Trade, etc.) and New York Daily News columnist Lupica: a hotheaded, rousing, gossipy, messy, loving, near-classic sports book focusing on the 1987 New York sports season. Goldman and Lupica complement each other superbly here as they trade off chapters, Goldman's fanzine fire (""A Fan's Notes"") to Lupica's journalistic ice (""The Reporter's Notebook""). If the authors' focus is regional, however--on baseball's Yankees and Mets, football's Giants and Jets, and basketball's Knicks--their scope is national and historic as they place teams and players within a century of American tradition. Thus it is, for example, that Goldman's kickoff chapter about Dwight Gooden's fall to the cocaine demon leads the author into a reverie about sports greatness--from an informed brief on 30's Chicago Bears wonder Bruno Nagurski to a stirring replay of Sandy Koufax's 1963 World Series feat of striking out 15 Yankees. Such tangents, mostly from Goldman, skid in and fade out with manic, sometimes dizzying, rapidity; among the highlights are pungent commentary on assorted sportscasters (e.g., that CBS sportsman Brent Mussberger is ""nothing but a shill"") and a humorous meditation on fans' endemic worship of statistics. The authors always manage to veer back to the teams' misadventures, however--which in 1987 included no championships and plenty of suffering at the hands of Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner, warring personalities on the Yankees and Mets, scab football, and the Knicks' less-than-zero talent. Still, as Lupica concludes, ""Sports is a life sentence. . .we keep coming back, hopeful, saying, Surprise us."" Despite the choppy format and hopped-up prose (no Angell elegance here), easily the headiest, juiciest sports book of the year--frothing over with enough energy, insight, and inside-info to satisfy any fan.