It was 40 years ago that Billie Jean King glided into the Houston Astrodome on a gilded chariot, Cleopatra style. She was there to face off against Bobby Riggs, a former No. 1 tennis player who was convinced there was no way a female player, even one of the world's best, could defeat a man on the tennis court. The packed stadium held more than 30,000 eager fans and millions more tuned in from home to see the dramatic "Battle of the Sexes" unfold.
Celebrities sat in the crowd, Riggs arrived in a rickshaw led by models, and King presented him with a tiny piglet at the net, symbolic of a male chauvinistic pig. The event was undoubtedly a spectacle- sports entertainment at its best. While the event fanfare eventually faded, the match left a lasting, positive mark on the sports community and society at large. King handily defeated Riggs in straight sets (6-4, 6-3, 6-3), successfully earning respect and awareness for gender equality in the United States, and forging professional tennis into the worldwide spotlight.