"What channel is CBS?" screams Billie Jean. Passersby say they can't get the match because they can't find Hawaii's CBS station -- it has a weak signal. By the way, this television moment is brought to you by ABC. By the time Billie Jean secures a radio, Margaret Court has lost 6-2, 6-1. Billie Jean can't speak. At the venue, Bobby leaps over the net and hugs Margaret, who looks bummed. Bobby looks totally proud of himself, yet at the same time acts as though this was no big deal.
At one match-watching party, women reluctantly whip out their wallets and fork over cash to their gloating hubbies. On TV, Bobby is bragging. "I am the queen of tennis, and I want King bad," he shouts. "I will play her!" This guy is such a blowhard. It's hilarious. My mother recalls him being exactly this way -- a washed-up old egotist, never truly a champion, with nothing going for him but his arrogance and the occasional decent tennis shot. ["So does my mom, who also recalls grumbling at the time of the Court match that Billie Jean could have kicked his ass, and my father agreeing with her." -- Sars]
Stunned, Billie sits on another flight and realizes that she now has to play Bobby. "Riggs is a jerk. He walks like a duck," Rosie says, helpfully. "In a few days, people will forget." Again with the advice! I can see why they remain one of the world's best doubles duos. Pensive, Billie watches as an unsuspecting stewardess gets her ass groped by an obnoxious pilot. "Not a chance," BJ says softly.
And so, in commercial, we transition from Billie Jean King to the very pinnipple -- er, "pinnacle" -- of women's liberation: Britney Spears, who has crusaded for a woman's right to bare arms (and almost anything else), bounce her breasts, and dance for free soda. Nobility, thy initials are B.S.
Cooling down in a hotel suite, Bobby thanks "sweetheart" for calling, telling her she has spunk. Apparently, "some rodeo broad" challenged Bobby to a goat-tying contest. He doesn't want to do it; after all, goat-tying hits too close to home, being an integral part of so many of his favorite, private weekend sexual romps. The Court-Riggs promoter has offered Bobby fifty thousand dollars to play anyone else, and Jerry Perenchio says he'll promote a match against Chris Evert and give Bobby three times that much. "I can turn this into a national event, just like I did with Ali-Frazier," he says. Ali MacGraw and Joe Frazier fought each other? Head-to-head yoga? Stretch to the death? Bobby flat-out decides he doesn't want to play Chrissie. "People are going to feel so sorry for her, I don't want to look like a bad guy," Bobby says, a portrait of deluded sincerity. "What I really want is King; she won't go near me." Perenchio promises he'll get Billie Jean. "I'd play for free!" crows Bobby, then he chokes a desperate, "Kidding! Kidding." He pauses. "That would be terrific," Bobby spittles, horking enough saliva to turn Stonehenge into Atlantis II: Waterlogged Boogaloo. Bobby then becomes insane. "I could be a sex symbol at age 55!" he grins. Paging Mental Clarity. You're wanted in Aisle 55.
The subtitle reads, "King vs. Status Quo, Part II." Billie Jean has gathered the women's tennis players into a room and is arguing for a new association -- the Women's Tennis Association, it'll be called -- that will lobby for pay equity in the sport. "We'll be seeing women players making a million a year," Billie Jean insists, wildly. She tosses Chrissie Evert a clipboard and says no one can leave until they've passed this initiative. A rich, throaty Ovary Of Gender Equality warbles in the background as the clipboard makes the rounds.