Late in the third period, the outcome was obvious.  The Colorado Avalanche had just scored their seventh goal of the night and the Las Vegas Golden Knights had no answer.  The Avalanche faithful of more than 10,000 fans pounded on the glass and waved their white pom-poms.  The score was now 7-1 and the first game of the second round of the NHL playoffs was all but over.  The Knights had only one move left.

Bring in the Goon Squad.

The first line was pulled from the ice to make room for five Las Vegas mercenaries and their mission to make things ugly.

The game finished with cheap shots, bloodied faces, lots of penalties, and that same 7-1 score.

If playoff hockey only had a Mercy Rule, like they used to have back in Little League.  In Little League a game would often be called by the 10-Run-Rule, stopping the game a few innings early if one team were dominating the other by roughly ten runs or more.  The early stoppage would help the losing team avoid tears, low self-esteem, and possible retribution based on frustration.  The Knights could have used that in Game One.

As the self-described Commissioner of Sports, the Mercy Rule is not the only rule that I would recommend.

  • In Major League Baseball the National League should finally add the DH, or the Designated Hitter, allowing pitchers to watch their replacements hit for them from the bench while still being allowed to pitch the next inning. Historically, the NL argued that keeping the DH out of the league and having pitchers hit added a strategic component to the game that the American League lacked.  This season pitchers are hitting around .111 and the Colorado Rockies pitchers are a combined .122 with no HRs and just three RBIs.  Apparently, Austin Gomber is no Shohei Ohtani.


  • The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has rules against biting and pulling hair. That makes sense, but it just seems strange that fighters placed in a cage are allowed to choke, punch, and throw elbows to the face of others but not allowed to bite and pull hair.  Who came up with that rule, my little sister and her second-grade committee during recess?



  • Soccer needs to implement rules to increase scoring. With eleven on eleven and offsides called on every other attack, it is no wonder that every game ends in a 1-0 score despite one team losing a player to a red card and three others still on the ground faking injuries.  Let’s try seven on seven, get rid of the offsides call, and see if anyone notices.


  • In the NBA it is just time to get some clarity on the rules when it comes to traveling. If you take two steps and then shoot it is not traveling.  If you catch the ball during your first step you can take a second and third step before releasing your shot.  If you do a jump stop and both feet land at the same time, then release your shot it is not traveling.  You can do a step-back three like James Harden, or a Euro-step like Luka Doncic and you are good.  Considering the extinction of that thing called the pivot foot, may as well let us all take three steps and call it good.

  • Golf has an entire book of rules that goes on for days. You cannot ground your club in the sand, you cannot wipe off a ball full of mud, and you cannot have more than 14 clubs in a bag.  Memorizing basic rules is one thing, but golf is supposed to be a sport, not the bar exam.  If the PGA wants to keep penalizing players for bad math on a scorecard or their ball landing in a divot, go ahead.  But everyone else should be allowed to fix their lie, use their Mulligan in the sand, and call everything close a gimmie.


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Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship