MONDO EXTRAS

When Billie Beat Bobby

by Heathen April 25, 2001
When Billie Beat Bobby

Third set. Billie is up five games to three, and both players are dripping with sweat. Bobby nets his first serve, then delivers a weak second try and Billie Jean gobbles it up, smacking a winner and earning herself a match point. But oh, she drills her game-winner into the net. "Too eager, too confident. Maybe it's a choke," Howard says, possibly hopefully. The game is at deuce, but Bobby double-faults and gives Billie Jean another match point. First serve: in the net. "Don't go out on a fault," she whispers, almost willing Bobby to put the ball over the net. The sound goes off, and all we hear is the thud of the ball, the wind of the ball in motion, and the crackling of rackets. The shots are exaggerated, the actual tennis obscured by quick editing that erases most evidence of Holly Hunter and Ron Silver's lack of skill. Finally, Bobby returns the ball in to the net, and Billie Jean jumps up in total elation. Applause washes over her. Final score: 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Billie jogs to the net and shakes Bobby's hand, then hugs him. "You just took me, Billie," he pants. Arm-in-arm, they turn and face the throng. Howard declares the match over, which is thoughtful of him. Sorority Sweethearts scream and dance; Suburban Mom cries as her husband and sons snore on the couch behind her. Afro Girl celebrates. The sports bar erupts. On-screen, as Howard Cosell signs off, Rosie is crying, then wipes her eyes and throws her arms up in a badly-acted show of disbelief mingled with triumph.

And now, the whimsy. The camera cuts to Suburban Mom, still clapping and crying, and we see a caption: "Will divorce husband and go back to law school." An elated Afro Girl's caption tells us she'll become a women's basketball coach, and Afro Boy -- who is visibly moved -- "will give women top management positions in his software company." Hope they give Billie Jean their stock options. Our Sorority Sweethearts have bright futures, too, thanks to Mrs. King. One will be a corporation's CEO, one will be a Superior Court justice, two will partner in a law firm, one will run for the Senate, one will perform open-heart surgery (but it doesn't say she'll go to med school!), one will orbit the Earth (hopefully after becoming an astronaut), one will make a major scientific discovery ("Bobby Riggs is half-ape!"), one will run a studio (that makes porn movies), and then the newly born baby comes on-screen and we learn that she is now a professional soccer player. Billie Jean, we salute you, and the US owes its World Cup Soccer trophy to you.

Bobby sits alone in his locker room, clad only in a robe. Billie Jean walks inside and sits down next to him, and they quietly look at one another. He nods. They look away. The Voice-Over Of And-They-Lived Happily-Ever-After says, "There was a time, not so very long ago, when girls weren't allowed to play boys." We see old playground footage of young children. "Then came an old champ named Bobby Riggs and a girl named Billie Jean." We watch Billie Jean walk away through the tunnel, alone. Fade to white, and her memory of washing dishes with her mother. "I am going to do something great with my life," young Billie Jean announces. "That's nice, dear," her mother says absently.

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When Billie Beat Bobby

by Heathen April 25, 2001
When Billie Beat Bobby Bobby sits alone in his locker room, clad only in a robe. Billie Jean walks inside and sits down next to him, and they quietly look at one another. He nods. They look away. The Voice-Over Of And-They-Lived Happily-Ever-After says, "There was a time, not so very long ago, when girls weren't allowed to play boys." We see old playground footage of young children. "Then came an old champ named Bobby Riggs and a girl named Billie Jean." We watch Billie Jean walk away through the tunnel, alone. Fade to white, and her memory of washing dishes with her mother. "I am going to do something great with my life," young Billie Jean announces. "That's nice, dear," her mother says absently.

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