Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Did Bobby Riggs It?

Wow, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this article claiming Bobby Riggs threw his immortal tennis match with Billy Jean King in 1973!!  But the source is an Outside the Lines expose at ESPN, so....
With a hat tip to Glenn Reynolds, here's the opening section from the source he links to:
A few months back, when I was swatting away the absolutely absurd notion that Brittney Griner could play in the NBA, I snarked, “Then again, Billie Jean King did beat a 55-year-old former pro that one time, so maybe Griner will totes fit into the NBA.”
But even that bit of credit was unwarranted, apparently. Because it turns out the infamous battle of the sexes—in which the 30-year-old King routed the 55-year-old Bobby Riggs—wasn’t a legit match. Allegedly, the fix was in:
For those of you unaware of this legitimately important sociological sporting event, here's a brief background summary from Wikipedia:
 After being mostly forgotten for many years, he gained far more fame in 1973 at the age of 55 by challenge matches against two of the top female players in the world. "The Battle of the Sexes" match against Billie Jean King was one of the most famous tennis events of all time, in which he lost the $100,000 winner-take-all prize.
An important fact often overlooked when thinking back on the Riggs-King match is that Riggs, just a few weeks prior, had pummeled the then #1 ranked woman in the world, Margaret Court, 6-1, 6-2, in the first of the two "Battle of the Sexes".

For the entire ESPN piece (which is pretty long), click here. It's absolutely fascinating!