Seventies Tennis Just Got Awkward

The rivalry between Sweden’s Björn Borg and New Yorker byway of West Germany John McEnroe is so storied it has its own Wikipedia Page. The page chronicles their matches in detail, expounds upon their “Fire and Ice” nickname and breaks down everything from who won the most on hard courts (McEnroe) and who won most on carpet (Borg). Nowhere does it say why they got old and started making out with each other to sell boxer briefs.

But here we are in 2011, living through the “Björn <3 John" line and a declaration of their love for in front of the world's press at the boating lake in Wimbledon Park. The report from Telegraph Online’s fashion section (ugh) starts off telling you what you need to know, then descends into a horrible E! Network bumper about portmanteaus and “coy smiles”.

Borg, who has built up a nice little sideline in men’s underwear over the past 14 years, has teamed up with McEnroe to push a limited-edition range of jersey boxer briefs, with some of the proceeds from sales going to the John and Patty McEnroe Foundation.

In keeping with the air of bromance, there were four buff male models draped across deckchairs on a jetty over the lake, wearing nothing but pants and coy smiles and looking for wall the world like they were auditioning for a Christopher Isherwood biopic. McEnroe was dressed a bit more modestly in Ralph Lauren jeans and a crisp white shirt under a very snappy plaid Tom Ford jacket with wide lapels.

The combination of this news and the image of Borg and McEnroe in 1978 makes me think way too much of that scene in The Royal Tenenbaums where Richie shaves off all his hair and tries to kill himself.

What’s next, Magic and Bird teaming up to sell skinny jeans?