The clock is winding down rapidly, and the opening bell is just about ready to ring, and I have a problem. So I'm asking you, the loyal readers of my columns, for a little help.

In case you haven't heard, the sweetheart of the Northwest, Tonya Harding, is about to launch a new career and step into the ring as a professional boxer.

Apparently some sharp promoter thought she showed promise as a fighter, other than beating up her one-time boyfriend, when she batted Paula "The Proboscis" Jones around in a Celebrity Boxing match on Fox Television a few months ago, and convinced her that she had a shot at making it to the big time.

One more day in the sun, so to speak.

The problem I have, other than she doesn't have any talent as or business trying to be a professional boxer, is that she doesn't have a nickname.

Nearly every boxer who has ever donned the gloves has had a really catchy moniker sports writers could hang on them, you know, "Sugar Ray" Leonard, Danny "Little Red" Lopez, "Irish" Mickey Ward or James "Hard Rock" Toney, but our little gal has nothing. I think it's up to us to come up with something for her to use before Michael Buffer steps up to the microphone and announces: "And now, ladies and gentlemen, Llllet's Get Ready To Rumble!"

For her latest endeavor, the "Bremerton Bomber" just doesn't seem to fit the former queen of the ice as a suitable title.

Come to think about it, boxers aren't the only sports personalities with nicknames. Baseball had and has its fare share of aka's such as "Chipper" Jones, "Dizzy" Dean, "Pee Wee" Reese and "Lefty" Grove. As a kid, I always wondered why there was nobody nicknamed "Righty." Sort of a strange thing to contemplate when you're 8 or 9 years old.

And "Slim". You know, when the leader of the outlaw gang in all the "B" westerns you ever watched at the theater says : "Will, you take Charlie and Slim and go rob that stagecoach. Make sure there ain't no witnesses." Somehow, he never says take "Fatty" along. I don't know, maybe Fatty couldn't handle a six-shooter.

What Tonya needs is something good, something really snappy, she can step into the ring with, and also use as an alias the next time she gets busted by the cops.

Those among us who have followed the fortunes, (in most cases the misfortunes), of well-known and semi well-known figures who have left their former "lucrative" occupations and joined the ranks of boxing and professional wrestling, can just about predict where Ms. Harding's new "career" will be taking her and what will eventually happen.

Who could forget Anthony Quinn's stunning performance as a washed-up fighter in the movie, "Requiem for a Heavyweight", and what eventually happened to him and his so-called manager, (Jackie Gleason for you trivia buffs).

Dusting off the old crystal ball and gazing into the future, here's a prediction on how Tonya baby's career is going to progress.

She's going to breeze right through the first five or six opponents she goes up against, just like Mark Gastineau did.

You remember him, the steroid-pumped linebacker from the New York Jets who held the NFL record for quarterback sacks a few years ago. The guy who was married to Bridgette Nielsen, (Red Sonja and other movies best left unnamed), after she got divorced from Sylvester Stallone.

He eventually left the league just before they were going to kick him out for illegal drug use, and became a professional boxer.

Word had it he was going to be the next "Great White Hope", after Jerry Cooney couldn't seem to get the job done, and went through seven or eight stumble-bums and "journeymen" fighters, that a later investigation determined were all rigged bouts under the direction of a crooked fight promoter, just like Grant took Richmond.

The idea was that he was going to get his record up to something like 10-0 and then there would be a "big time" fight against a "name" opponent with a lot of money on the line.

Win or lose, somebody was going to get rich off this fight.

What happened? Well, he eventually went up against a boxer who knew what the game was all about two fights before the big one, and ended up lasting less than three rounds against him. Bye, bye career!

For those who still remember Mark's accomplishments on the football field, you can write to him at Rikers Island in New York City where he is serving time for drug possession.

My money says the same thing is going to happen, career wise, to Tonya.

Because of her past "fame", she'll wade through a number of unknown opponents until she gets her record up and then be scheduled for a bout against someone who is a known and accomplished fighter in the world of female professional boxing for a big-money fight.

After all the trash talking and the hoopla prior to the fight, she'll end up getting the proverbial the snot kicked out of her and then she can "retire" and go back to charging folks admission to watch her practice on the ice at the Lloyd Center, becoming once again the beer drinkin', hubcap flingin', trailer park "Cutie" we've all come to know and love over the years.

In the mean time, anyone with a good idea for a nickname for her can email it to me at

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