A New York paper recently reported that Alfred Hitchcock had been invited to attend a Jets game with his old friend Jets Owner Sonny Werblin. It wasn't so. Hitchcock merely lunched with Werblin, and the conversation did not even get around to football. Not surprising, since it was between a team owner and a man who once said, "Why do they call it football? They kick it only a few times a game. They throw it, they run with it—it's really handball." That was Hitchcock's view of Werblin's game 20 years ago, and as of last week he had not mellowed much. Unabashedly confirming his long-standing convictions, he volunteered, "I've always said American football is football in teaspoonfuls. All the players do is stop and huddle and tell dirty stories." Actually, there are days when most owners would agree.

The Tournament of Roses is nourishing a viper in its bosom—a stout viper at present going by the name of Everett Dirksen (below). In September the Tournament Committee invited the Senator to be grand marshal of the 79th annual Tournament of Roses, and for the press conference announcing this honor a florist even managed the not inconsiderable feat of producing a likeness of Dirksen in flowers. So was the Senator touched and grateful? No. He has been plotting to use the Tournament of Roses to further his own campaign for the marigold as our national flower. It was reported that he planned to fling marigolds to the crowd or even ride atop a marigold-covered float. "If they don't watch out," he has actually said, "it'll turn out to be a Tournament of Marigolds."

In Syracuse, N.Y. it is best not to tangle with any quiet-looking gentleman wearing a double-breasted suit and horn-rimmed glasses. You may be picking on Carmen Basilio. Businessman Basilio does promotional work for Genesee beer and keeps an eye on a canning plant and a sausage factory, but the 40-year-old former welter- and middle-weight champion is better than fit. He gets up at 5 in the morning and does roadwork, gets to the gym two or three times a week to do a little boxing and spends much of his time whipping students into shape at LeMoyne College, where he is a physical-education instructor. "Working with young men in phys ed is a vacation, honest," he says. Compared to going 15 rounds with Sugar Ray Robinson, it certainly must be.

The rain in Spain fell mainly on Rainier recently. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace arrived in Madrid for a week of sightseeing and partridge hunting only to encounter record downpours. Hunting was limited to a single day and a less-than-exhilarating shoot, at which the umbrellas outnumbered the guns and a hot, wet lunch was reported to have been served to "umbrella-huddling guests on the treeless plain." A pity, but what was Princess Grace doing at a partridge hunt anyway, after her successful effort of some years ago to have Monaco's live pigeon shoots declared illegal?

Nobody appreciates a good TV commercial as much as the person who really froths with rage at TV commercials generally. Such connoisseurs among the sporting audience are applauding a beauty, the message from the investment house that simply has given Joe Louis a few seconds to observe: "I just want to say one thing. Edwards & Hanly, where were you when I needed you?"

The Golden Door is a luxurious establishment in southern California which ordinarily caters to wealthy ladies who want a week or so of intensive health and beauty work, but for several weeks the ladies are locked out and men are invited in for some attention to their health and beauty. At the same time the report came in on Basilio's methods of keeping fit, new word arrived from ex-Boxer Lou Nova in the form of a card from The Golden Door, which read, "Hi. My week is Dec. 11 to 18th. Best, Lou." He neglected to let us know which accommodations he had chosen: "$600 elegant; $625 elegant, with patio"; or "$650 très elegant."

Everybody knows how tough it can be for Olympic contenders from democratic countries—no subsidies, no government assistance—but things don't usually get as bad as they are for England's Tony Nash (above). Tony is a gold-medal-winning bobsled champion. Elsewhere in Europe bobsled teams are zooming down special tracks at speeds in excess of 70 mph. Nash recently slushed down a local hill at a speed in excess of 2 mph atop what appeared to be the English equivalent of a Flexible-Flyer. With the Olympics only months away, two of his team's sleds do not even have runners, and aircraft experts at Farnborough are still tinkering with a sled specially designed for Nash and his partner, Robin Dixon. Nash has been quoted as saying, with proper British reserve, "I must admit, my hopes are not all that high for a win."