While waiting to get a free fight from Muslim Cassius X, former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson kept busy putting on exhibition bouts in Sweden with his kid brother Ray, 21. One result: Ray has been knocked cold by a 5-foot-6, eyes-of-blue Swedish blonde named Vivian Backman. "I hope to box for 10 years and save enough money to open an auto-repair place here," said young Ray Patterson as he began looking around for a suitable ring—a wedding ring, that is.

Not unmindful of all those French movies in which the frontier customs guards lash on their skis and zip through the snow in pursuit of jewel thieves, France's Minister of Finance, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (below), felt it was part of his De Gaulle-given duty to do likewise. High on a French Alp, the cabinet minister tightened his boots, pulled up his baggy stretch pants, put on his goggles and headed downhill—not after smugglers—but as a forerunner in a race for customs officers from five Alpine nations.

"I don't know of anything that builds the will to win better than competitive sports," said two-time loser Richard Nixon after receiving the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics' distinguished alumnus award. "Don't play it safe, play to win. That is the kind of spirit we need in America today," continued the man who is once again warming the bench, as he did at Whittier College, where he was an eager basketball and football candidate—but never earned a letter.

No sooner had Soviet Russia's famed high jumper, Valeri Brumel, landed in New York than he was off to a local auto dealer to pick up spare parts for his American car. American car? Yes. It seems that the hero of the Soviet Union has traded the Russian-made Volga he got after breaking the world high jump record for a Rambler.

Summing up for fitness while he made plans to carry his client's case to a higher court, Defense Attorney Melvin Belli pleaded a prima facie case of mens sana in corpore sano. "I'm an absolute believer that the mental functions are in better running order when you exercise regularly," panted the effusive attorney as he trotted back to his hotel from a nightly two-hour round of wrestling, steambath and rub-down at the Dallas Athletic Club. "Why, I'm 30 pounds overweight now and I can't think as well," continued Ruby's 6-foot 220-pound lawyer, rounding the corner. "But as soon as I get home I'll get back on the handball courts and work it off."

What with royal babies showing up all around him and one even landing in his own home (a boy for the Queen), it is no wonder that Prince Philip showed royal concern about space on his tiny island. "More and more youth clubs are going off to the moors and mountains, climbing, walking and exploring," said the father of Elizabeth's one-week-old son. "What we have to insure is that there is still some open space for them when they get there."

A onetime Arkansas halfback and a former president of the university, fast-talking Senator William Fulbright has a persuasive way with scholars. He exhibited a trace of it last week during a talk with a young constituent in a Little Rock hotel. The talk was said to be "just an informal chat" about youth and education, but before it was over the Razorback football squad had acquired a 6-foot 3-inch, 210-pound prospect who happened to be an All-Southern high school linebacker.

Hollywood's hottest property at the moment, Hot Rodder Steve McQueen, will make his own Great Escape next fall—on a motorcycle, of course. Mr. McQueen, who has raced cars, tended bars and barked for carnivals, will be part of a U.S. team at the world motorcycle championships to be held in Europe.

It was a nice, quiet little basketball game for aging Navy officers. Suddenly, there was a scramble for the ball, a flailing of arms, a tangle of legs, and the Under Secretary of the Navy fell on his head. "I'm out here to boost the Navy's fitness program, not ruin it," said Under Secretary Paul B. Fay Jr., picking up his 45-year-old bones and heading for the sidelines.

"I used to shoot real good golf, but then I had them cataracts removed from my eyes and I don't see as good as I oughter," said Arizona's well-known carpet merchant, Dizzy Dean, strolling toward the No. 2 hole of the Phoenix Country Club. Then the onetime maestro of the crazy curve picked up an eight-iron, teed up, squinted at the hole 137 yards away and dropped the ball into the cup. "Greatest thrill of my life," said Dizzy.