PHOENIX, AZ - If you're old enough, you'll remember Bobby Riggs. He's the guy who challenged female tennis star, Billie Jean King to a "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match back in 1973.
Riggs, 55, had already beaten 30-year-old Margaret Court, then the top female player in the world. Riggs claimed that even at 55, he could still beat the best the female player in the world.
After beating Court in two sets, he challenged Billie Jean King to a winner-take-all best of three tennis match in a nationally televised event at the Houston Astrodome.
It was forty years ago, and the outspoken "male chauvinist" knew he could beat the "lesser" female. The winner would receive $100,000 and bragging rights to the winner's entire gender.
Billie Jean King won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, and Riggs was openly embarrassed, although he did jump the net to congratulate King.
At the time, there were a number of people who felt like Riggs "threw" the match. According to experts, Riggs seemed to give up on shots or send easy returns into the net. He even double faulted a number of times on his serve, which was considered the strength of his game.
Four decades later, we discover that Bobby Riggs actually did "throw" the match because he owed the mob more than $100,000 in gambling debt.
Monday night, we're hearing that Riggs needed the cash to pay off the mafia. The entire match was indeed a sham!
We also know that after the match, Riggs went to work for the Tropicana in Las Vegas for, whom else, some of his mafia friends.
So what's my reaction? Rats, that changes everything! Maybe men still rule the sports world after all? Or not!
That's Fouhy on Sports!