Hopslam Players Weigh Price Paid for Championship

ANN ARBOR– Sure, they are champions again for the first time since Winter 2017, and Hopslam players are grateful.

“I’m grateful,” said center Matt Okray.

Indeed, the sentiment was felt by all. “We all feel the same,” noted winger Chris Sutton.

After falling 3-6 in Game 1 last Tuesday, Hopslam came back to tie the series Saturday 4-1, then secured its first championship in six years with a 4-2 victory Tuesday night.

And, while teammates shed tears (or sweat) of joy, some wondered about the cost of a championship. “These seasons are long, and they take their toll on the guys,” said defenseman Justin Baier. “It’s a lot to expect for a team to hang in there for three long months, oftentimes away from their families for several hours late into the night.”

“It’s a tough price to pay, and not always paid equally,” noted goaltender Gary Pletcher. “Some of the guys paid dearly… like $400 in league fees. Outrageous!”

Added Pletcher: “But not me. I’m the goalie, and goalies typically play for free.”

Hopslam wins 4th championship despite having to pay upwards of $400 for the season

Forward Art Rautenberg announced that he was retiring following next season, citing that the emotional and fiscal toll were simply “too much,” and that the season fees could have gone to things like “pissing it away on candy bars and Dr. Peppers at the gas station.” And, while he’s pleased to be a part of the championship, he “could really go for a Clark Bar right about now.”

When asked how the team will celebrate the victory, GM Mark Woods noted that they would most likely celebrate the holidays with their families and friends, then “Venmo me money for the next season.”

Added Woods: “Championship quality comes at a cost, whether it’s part-time, full-time, or sub.”