Daily Archives: July 6, 2010

The sad business of renting friends. And Borg-McEnroe, 30 years later

I’m not sure why this story depressed me so, but here goes.
There’s now a website called http://www.rentafriend.com. Basically, for a small registration fee and then the price of $10 per hour, you can pay people to hang out with you.

Basically, you go to their website and type in your zip code. Then, it brings up a list of “friends” in your area, and what they’re available for. Then you call them, negotiate a date, time, and price, and bam, they are your friend!

For example, in my neighborhood there’s Chris, who is available for going to the casino, hiking, wine-tasting, and other stuff. There’s Jen who likes everything, Brittny (yeah, that’s the spelling), and Alex and so many more.

I know the spirit behind the website is a good one; hey, if you’re lonely, here are people to hang out with. And yeah, I suppose this is not that different from hiring an escort, or a hooker, for that matter.

It just makes me sad to think there are people out there who have to spend money just to have company.

**A couple of big tennis anniversaries this week, one I’ll get into more tomorrow because it kinda involves me. But the other one occurred Monday: It was the 30th anniversary of the great Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe 1980 Wimbledon final. It was, until 2008, widely considered the greatest match of all time. Johnny Mac was still a young punk in ’80, not having won Wimbledon and acting like quite the ass on the court.

Borg was a four-time champ from Sweden, whose demeanor was as calm as McEnroe’s was hysterical. It was an epic match, with McEnroe winning a fourth-set tiebreaker, 18-16, but Borg won the fifth set, 8-6.

NBC showed the tiebreaker on Sunday after Rafa Nadal’s win, and had McEnroe and Borg watch it together. It was very cool, seeing them discuss the feelings and emotions they felt at the time.

Couple thoughts on watching it, 30 years later:
— Man, those short shorts were short.
— The amount of touch you needed with those wood rackets was amazing.
— Between points, Mac and Borg simply went to the baseline, took the ball, and served.  Unlike today’s players, who towel off, look at their coach in the stands, have a snack, do their taxes, and then serve.

Even 30 years later, the match holds up as a classic. I remember as a 5-year-old, watching it with my Mom, who was rooting like crazy for Borg. I, of course, rooted for McEnroe, because you know, when you’re 5, it’s cool to see someone throw tantrums like you do.