The name itself struck an antagonistic tone: ''Battle of the Sexes.''
From Bobby Riggs' chauvinistic crowing to the entrances worthy of the Roman Colosseum, the imagery was conflict, war.
Billie Jean King prefers to remember how that tennis match ''brought everybody together.''
''Everybody had parties,'' she recalled during the U.S. Open this month. ''You had the fraternities and sororities having parties together. You had suburb parties where men and women were together - betting against each other, but it brought them together.''
''These people are together,'' King added, ''whether they like it or not.''
Friday is the 40th anniversary of a 29-year-old woman's straight-set victory over a 55-year-old man in front of more than 30,000 fans. Often the participants in culture-tilting moments look back later and say they never realized at the time how big it would be.
Not King on Sept. 20, 1973. She knew exactly what she was getting herself into at Houston's Astrodome.
''I knew ho...