Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, where we reflect on the history of marble sports teams that have appeared in the tournaments of Jelle’s Marble Runs. This time, we’re going to cover the O’rangers, one of the first teams of the Marble League and Marbula One, and arguably, its most popular. Read on to find out how this team has charmed the competition!
The O’rangers are not just a team—they are a family of marbles with a strong heritage that has dominated for generations. The O’Marbles run an orange farm on the southeast tip of North America, close to the city of Orlango, that also specializes in bull-wrangling and, notably, off-road racing. The current head of the family, Mandarin, has emphasized this last aspect more and more in recent years, especially with the rise of televised marble sports. This drive and passion led Mandarin to found the O’rangers with their siblings Clementin, Kinnowin, Tangerin, and Orangin, in 2006, and the team began participating in local competitions shortly thereafter.
The O’rangers performed well enough over the next two years to draw attention from a marble troupe of teams, named the Fruit Circuit. After surveying the O’Marbles Farm (to verify that the O’rangers were fruit-based) the Fruit Circuit allowed the team to join the troupe. The O’rangers remained in the troupe for eight years until the Fruit Circuit’s demise in 2016, with the rise of the Marble League. The team was in fourth place, closely behind Mellow Yellow, Raspberry Racers, and the Limers, when the Raspberry Racers failed to finish the final race. The O’rangers finished the race modestly, with enough points to pass the Racers and move into third place behind Mellow Yellow in second and the Limers in first. The O’rangers’ third-place finish qualified them for the 2016 Marble League.
However, the O’rangers were skeptical of the competition that lay ahead of them. To test the waters, Mandarin, Clementin, Kinnowin, and Tangerin went undercover in the first event of the Marble League, going under the names of O1, O2, O3, and O4 to compete. The four placed ninth, scoring no points for the O’rangers. Seeing that the competition was serious, the four revealed their true names and represented the O’rangers for the rest of the 2016 Marble League. Their true identities were reflected in the reupload of the 2016 Marble League in 2019, with the graphics displaying the correct names of the team instead of O1-O4.
The O’rangers did not earn any points until the third event, Collision, where they placed fifth and got three points (although they had received a bonus point in Event 2 due to a track defect). The team earned a gold medal in Long Jump with Kinnowin representing the team, breaking the Marble League record at 103,8 centimeters. Although the O’rangers did not get another medal in 2016, they got enough fourth and fifth-place finishes in the next few events to secure an overall fifth-place finish at the end of the tournament. They had landed eight points away from taking fourth place, and just one point above the Rojo Rollers in sixth, a team with three medals to its name.
The O’rangers patted themselves on the back for a successful season but knew in their hearts that they wanted more. This became apparent at the O’Marbles Farm when Mandarin announced plans to build an official marble sports raceway on the property, which would remove a few acres of orange trees. Surprisingly, the city had few complaints regarding the developments. As a local fan put it:
“The O’Marbles didn’t just help our business boom back in the day, they were our business, and we’d be lying if we said that they aren’t to this day. Their orange business is the immigrant success story that marbles dream of telling, and their racing business is on another level of greatness. They’re active in the community and we support them every step of the way. OOOOOOOOOOOO!”
The team performed well in the 2017 Marble League Qualifiers, getting a third-place finish in the Relay Race and ending in third place with more than enough points to qualify. It was then that the O’rangers began to get recognized as a serious contender for competition in the 2017 Marble League, and the team experienced a large surge in fans. When the first of July came around, the stands were packed with a swath of fans in orange, holding signs and howling “OOOOOOOOOOOO!”. Needless to say, the O’rangers and their fans were hoping for a strong season, but they had no idea exactly how great things were going to turn out.
This is not to say that the team dominated throughout 2017; this was quite the opposite. The team’s famed rivals, the Savage Speeders, dominated in the earlier half of the season, rising to the top three in the standings. But the O’rangers remained persistent. They continued to train even during the Marble League, and finally, in the fifth event, they earned a bronze medal and a spot on the podium. As the Savage Speeders ascended to the top of the standings, the O’rangers positioned themselves in seventh place, rising three spots. They stopped training immediately and took a pause, conserving their energy.
It was a strategy that, in the short run, seemed ineffective. The next event saw the Speeders get a gold medal while the O’rangers lagged in fourteenth-place. Their Fruit Circuit rivals, the Limers, had taken second overall in the standings as the O’rangers dropped to ninth. Few were looking at the O’rangers as a team that could surpass the unrelenting strength of the Savage Speeders. Very soon, everyone would.
Their first place in Block Pushing, as their first gold medal of the 2017 season in the seventh event and a new record to boot, launched the team into fourth place overall, four points behind the Limers and nearly a gold medal within reach of the Savage Speeders. The fans were ecstatic as they poured out of the stands, and the security officers could barely hold them back. It was a real energy that drove them, and it inspired the team itself to keep pushing.
Mandarin immediately followed up the team’s success in Block Pushing with a silver medal in the High Jump, which vaulted the team into second place, now less than a silver medal behind the Savage Speeders. The team that once seemed to be sweeping the competition had now lost its insurmountable lead within two events. The top of the standings was in sight for the O’rangers.
The Savage Speeders and Mellow Yellow had finally realized the momentum of the O’rangers, and in the next event, both teams got gold and silver respectively, denying the O’rangers an early victory. At the end of the ninth event, the standings looked oddly similar to the end of the 2016 Marble League: the Speeders were in first, Mellow Yellow was in second, and even Team Momo was in fourth place. The O’rangers clung to third, their fate hanging in the balance like a ripe orange on a tree.
“You know what I’ve realized over the years? It’s that nothing is set in stone when you’re competing,” Mandarin noted, years later. “Just when you think something is going to go one way, it ends up going in a way you’d never think it to. That’s the beauty of marble sports: they’re always unpredictable. And they keep us on our game, always striving to be the best that we can be even when things aren’t going our way.”
And strive they did. In the tenth event, Archery, the O’rangers closed in on Mellow Yellow’s place in second, remaining in third by two points. In the eleventh event, the Underwater Race, the O’rangers set another new record in one of the heats and finished in second place, securing second place in the standings and becoming one of two teams able to win the 2017 Marble League. Of course, that other team was the Savage Speeders.
The O’rangers needed at least eleven points to overtake the Savage Speeders in the final event if the latter team scored no points. The Savage Speeders are a team known to be fast, one of the best teams at racing. The final event was the Sand Rally.
The O’rangers and their fans held their breath, watching the first heat of the event. They hoped for a miracle.
Swifty of the Savage Speeders, once in the top four, was swiftly falling back in the line of marbles racing to the finish. They reached dead last by the middle of the race and didn’t rebound back. The Savage Speeders’ fans were shocked.
“I don’t think our championship leaders are going to advance at this point. It would take a massive lunge for them to get up there!” Greg Woods exclaimed. “The finish line is nearly in sight, now—no, the Savage Speeders will not advance! They will not make it into the final, and they have to hope that that ten-point lead they have amassed throughout these eleven events is going to be big enough to survive the twelfth…”
Clementin was already at the starting gate. The loudspeakers were booming, Greg Woods’ voice ringing out the names of the teams moving on. The ball bearing lunged forward released the bar, and Clementin bolted forward in the lead. As Greg Woods told the fans about the Jungle Jumpers missing the event, the O’Marble didn’t care. They kept rolling forward.
Clementin did not sacrifice their spot in the top four, guaranteeing that they would move on to the final. They said nothing as they traveled back to the starting gate. Again, they lunged forward once the bar was released, eventually securing a dominant lead. As they turned the final curve of the course, Clementin eased up a little bit, allowing Starry of Team Galactic to rush past them and take the gold medal. But it didn’t matter: Clementin had done everything they had to do in the final event. And it paid off.
The O’rangers had won the 2017 Marble League.
It was a comeback that once seemed impossible; a threshold once out of reach; a championship that shattered the fanbase, right under the Speeders’ eyes; and oh—did the fans scream “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” for hours!
The team automatically qualified for the 2018 Marble League upon their win in 2017, but it was their victory tour around the world that the team treasured the most about their win. It was such a big deal for the team that they shut down O’Marbles Farm for the occasion, inviting their entire family on the trip. This caused a month-long decline in orange production, but the world didn’t seem to mind. Celebration was in order, and the team reveled in it. When asked in an interview with Rick O’Shea, marble sports reporter, about how the team would try to replicate their success in 2018, Kinnowin replied:
“We can’t. But that’s what makes our sport great. It can be so unpredictable. It’s never going to feel the same though, because we were the first ones to come from the middle of the pack to win it all. Our names are going to be forever remembered as the ones who, uh, made the greatest comeback in Marble League history.”
True to Kinnowin’s claim, the O’rangers did not replicate their 2017 success in the 2018 Marble League. The team placed third in the Friendly Round and remained in the upper middle of the pack for most of the season. They were far from on the radar, as the Savage Speeders continued to dominate, the Hazers stunned the competition as the best rookie team since 2016, and the rising waters of the Oceanics tried to turn the tides of the podium. The O’rangers never lost their fans, but it didn’t look like the team would ever be near a second victory. They had no medals to their name after nine events.
But the team had been consistent in the first nine events, only scoring below eighth place once, in the Halfpipe event. The O’rangers were practicing the same strategy that they had the year before: they were conserving their energy. Taking a deep breath, they entered the tenth event, Biathlon, and finished with a silver medal.
The O’rangers shot up to second in the overall standings.
The fans were shocked. After medaling only once, the O’rangers were, once again, formidable competition in the Marble League. Of course, they were thrilled. Could the O’rangers replicate last year’s success? Their “OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” echoed through the Arctic Circle.
However, the O’rangers lost focus after their silver. Although they were still one of four that could win the tournament at the beginning of the final event, the O’rangers faltered in the first heat, only earning five points and assuring their fate: they could not win the 2018 Marble League or finish in the top three. While other fans, particularly Speeders fans, were elated, O’rangers fans were understandably distraught. They had still experienced an amazing season, but Kinnowin’s prediction rang true. The O’rangers finished eleven points behind the Oceanics, still placing in fourth, but missing another chance to prequalify…or so they thought.
The O’rangers participated in both offseason events for Marble League teams, training at their O’raceway in between. Despite doing well in previous water races, Mandarin failed to replicate the team’s successes with the 100 Meter Water Race, for they finished in twentieth out of twenty-seven teams. That said, the O’rangers had a successful showing in the Amazing Maze Marble Race, finishing as runners-up to the Raspberry Racers in first, ahead of the Savage Speeders in third, and ahead of the Limers in fourth. The race proved, again, that the O’rangers were a force to be reckoned with in marble sports.
Although the O’rangers lost their 2019 hosting bid to the Oceanics, the team took the Oceanics’ qualification spot, thus automatically qualifying for the second year in a row. In the Friendly Round, the team won both Block Pushing and the Underwater Race, repeating similar successes from the 2017 season. They finished second, just one point behind the Oceanics.
The O’rangers entered the 2019 Marble League with one new addition: their coach, Rango, who, initially, was not sure how to take the reins of the team. Kinnowin, once the star of underwater events and now the captain of the team, had a bad run in the Underwater Race and finished in a startling fourteenth place for the first event of the season. Clementin, hoping to rectify a disappointing start for the team in Funnel Spinning, crashed into the wall just past the starting gate, stopped themselves due to head trauma, and was unable to finish the event. The O’rangers fell to dead last in the standings for the first time in their history and seemed to have crashed to rock bottom alongside the Oceanics, all happening as the Savage Speeders reigned at the top of the standings.
Coach Rango immediately rolled towards the course after the initial heat and was stopped by security as the officials, ascertaining that Clementin was in a good enough condition to leave the track, got the athlete off the arena. Thankfully, the doctors confirmed that Clementin had only a minor injury—but they were advised to stay off the roster for a few events, which Clementin accepted.
“I know a lot of fans were concerned, especially about the standings. Those are just numbers,” Rango asserted. “Safety is our number one priority. Even now, I’m not so sure if that starting area was as safe as it could have been, but I am happy—and lucky—that Clementin is okay now.”
After three more subpar finishes in the middle of the pack, the team earned its first medal of the season in the sixth event, Relay Run. The team collectively earned a silver medal after a tie in the semi-finals with the Pinkies, which led to a tiebreaker race that the team easily won. Mandarin, the marble closest to the finish line, did not get the best push-off from Clementin behind them, and the O’rangers lost the gold to the Green Ducks in the final leg of the race.
The team rose to ninth in the standings, its first foray into the top ten, but fell mysteriously to tenth place after placing fifth in Block Pushing. The team fell to eleventh after placing fifth again in the Summer Biathlon and remained there after just missing the podium in the Hurdles final. The O’rangers rose to ninth after placing sixth in the Hubelino Maze but would fall again just three events later with a fourteenth place finish in the Elimination Race. Mandarin, luckily, earned two consolation points due to a track defect, but the team dropped to eleventh overall, with the Raspberry Racers, Green Ducks, and Hazers at the top of the standings, and the veterans failing to catch up behind them. An eleventh-place finish by Tangerin in Surfing sealed the O’rangers’ fate in 2019: out of championship contention and unable to finish in the top three.
“While we’ve only finished in the top three once, it still hurt us to see that we couldn’t make a comeback,” admitted Mandarin, swallowing heavily. “We had our roughest start yet, but we couldn’t understand why we weren’t at least in the top ten of the standings, if not the top half. We had almost enough fourth and fifth place finishes to rival the Ducks,” he claimed.
The next event, Collision, had not been the O’rangers’ strongest two years prior. Their 2019 performance was a different story, as the O’rangers advanced, second in their initial group heat, to dominate over the Jungle Jumpers, edge over Mellow Yellow, and fight for the gold in the final round. The O’rangers won a gold medal for the first time since Block Pushing in the 2017 Marble League. Their fans were ecstatic, and their “O” chant rang through the crowd, louder than it had ever been. The team rose four spots into seventh place overall.
The O’rangers’ hard work to climb back from nothing was finally starting to show, and Kinnowin’s fourth-place finish in the final event, the Sand Rally, earned the O’rangers twelve more points to finish the 2019 Marble League in sixth place overall, 139 points strong. The team’s longest season had finally come to an end, and, through its struggles, the O’rangers endured and were enriched, growing even stronger.
They earned an opportunity to put these skills to use in the first season of Marbula One. The O’rangers were the second team revealed for the tournament on 23 October 2019, and submitted Clementin, “Our Darling”, and Orangin, “True Orange”, to represent the team. Additionally, the team was selected to host the second Grand Prix at their O’raceway in Orlango.
Clementin earned pole position in their debut at the Savage Speedway Grand Prix on 15 February 2020, setting a time of 28.11 seconds. After beginning the race at pole position, Clementin lost the lead after hitting the attenuator. They remained in the top five until the third lap, where they were passed by Yellow, and aside from a brief reemergence during the seventh lap, did not return to the top five. Clementin finished the race in sixth, just behind Speedy, who had, interestingly, qualified for the race in last.
Orangin seemed to have been struck by the rumored “host’s curse” in their debut at the O’raceway Grand Prix on 22 February 2020, where they qualified in fifteenth with a time of 33.86 seconds. During the race, Orangin was able to move up to as high as seventh in the standings but could go no further, and fell out of the top ten. They finished the race in a disappointing fourteenth place, and the O’rangers fell from sixth to tenth in the overall standings.
Clementin, meanwhile, would continue to pull their weight, finishing in fifth and setting the fastest lap at the Momotorway despite qualifying in eleventh. Orangin began turning their season around at the Hivedrive, where they qualified in second with a time of 24.23 seconds. They led the race through the first lap, but fell victim to the hive several times and finished the race in eighth.
The Greenstone Grand Prix changed the O’rangers’ Marbula One season for the better, mirroring the team’s strength during the latter half of Marble League seasons. After qualifying in second with a time of 33.76 seconds (just fifteen milliseconds behind pole position!) Orangin dominated the long and winding roads of Greenstone to clinch the team’s first win and gold medal. They led the race for seven of the nine laps and lost the lead only to Bolt, taking it back at the beginning of the final lap. The team rose to fourth in the overall standings.
Clementin did not fare as well at the Short Circuit, qualifying in fourteenth and finishing the race in tenth—but they set the fastest lap with a time of 22.10 seconds. Orangin competed in their final Grand Prix at the Razzway, qualifying in fourth with a time of 28.92 seconds. Although they never took the lead, Orangin never left the top five either. They were able to secure second place in the second sector of the last lap, and finished there, also setting the fastest lap with a time of 32.25 seconds.
The O’rangers had risen to third in the overall standings and remained there as the inaugural season of Marbula One concluded at Midnight Bay. Clementin’s qualifying run of 25.75 seconds was mired in controversy, not for their run, but for the run afterward—Speedy’s early start.
“I was personally used to being on the course at the same time as other marbles. That’s how we qualified earlier in the season,” Clementin explained. “I understand why the fans were upset, though, and I think Speedy could have waited a little while longer.”
Clementin qualified in eleventh, diminishing the team’s chances of winning the race and the season. They sealed the O’rangers’ fate by finishing in twelfth, and the team finished their season in third with 69 points. The O’rangers set three of the eight fastest laps during the Grands Prix, the most of any team in Season 1.
“I have no regrets,” stated Rango. “Orangin had been itching for a chance to demonstrate their skills, and I knew they would thrive in this competition. Clementin, too—they both showed everyone the best of the O’rangers. They should be proud.”
an addendum by The Emperor
For the first time since the 2017 Marble League, the O’rangers would have to compete in the Qualifiers. They managed to secure a third-place finish in Funnel Endurance and finished the qualifiers in eighth with 41 points. To start the main league, they tied with the Oceanics in tenth in Balancing. The O’rangers then asserted their dominance with a gold medal in the Halfpipe.
“Look at the O’rangers! Three up top, slaloming in tandem, back and forth they come! I would have to think that would have to be an easy victory for the O’rangers.” Greg Woods remarked as the OOOOOOs reigned. “Oh my gosh! So good that it’s in fact another new Marble League Record!” The O’rangers fans celebrated with an early gold, making it their second gold in the past four Marble League events, dating back to 2019.
“Will the team burn out early, or will the O’rangers continue to be a pressing force to be reckoned with throughout the season? Regardless, I am sure we’ll hear O’s reverberating throughout the Andromedome for events to come,” Stynth, a former JMRC member, remarked after the event.
To follow up their gold from Halfpipe, Kinnowin snagged a silver in the Funnel Endurance, earning the team their second medal in three events.
“It was special, ya know,” Kinnowin said after the event. “Coming back and finishing on the podium was huge after getting stuck at the top last season. It showed we were ready this time. I think we could pass the Minty Maniacs if our fine form continues.”
And pass them they did. Clementin and Tangerin managed to do what no O’ranger had done before; win a second gold in the same year. With a gold medal in the Newton’s Cradle, the team vaulted atop the standings with two golds and a silver. That meant that the O’rangers now held the record for the best three-event streak in Marble League history, with 70 points.
“Going into an event where we weren’t even sure what it looked like, how it worked, and what it was, we saw a lot of teams get good scores before us. Walking away with the Marble League record was beyond our expectations!” Rango remarked after the event.
Following a poor finish in the Long Jump, Kinnowin was chosen to represent the O’rangers in Hurdles, an event that the team had medaled in before. After placing sixth, the O’rangers sat in second in the standings, looking to redeem themselves in Block Pushing. And that’s exactly what they did. With their fourth medal of the season, a bronze, they jumped atop the overall leaderboard again.
“It was great, ya know?” Tangerin said after the event. “Four medals in the first seven events, it’s a great feeling. Especially given our general track record of having a bad first half.”
To follow up their 105 points in seven events, (averaging out to a bronze per event) Orangin came in with another bronze in the Triathlon.
“Some coaches were a bit confused with my decision to put my reserve in such a complicated and long event. But I never had my doubts in Orangin’s skills on the Marbula One track, and I never had my doubts with Orangin here,” Rango said after the podium celebration. “We’ve excelled in all of those course aspects in the past, and I found nothing to display the contrary here.”
Tangerin, however, could not keep the momentum going with a twelfth-place finish in the Moguls. Following a tenth in the Sprint from Orangin, and a sixth-place finish from the gold medal Newton’s Cradle duo in the Black Hole Funnel, the O’rangers sat barely in first overall.
“We’ve got to make the final push now, and hold on to the championship from here,” Clementin said before the Relay Race. And that’s exactly what the O’rangers did. The team went with a strategy of subbing in Orangin in the place of Tangerin, which paid dividends early.
“It’s anybody’s race at this point, until the O’rangers stamp their authority in the bottom two handoffs, and reset the record!” Greg Woods exclaimed as the team obliterated the record by over half a second. The team would hold on to finish the event in second, with six medals in twelve events now, matching the Raspberry Racers one year ago.
The O’rangers would then go on to win another gold medal, their third of the season, in the High Jump, with Mandarin setting a new record of 40.5 centimeters.
“The key to High Jump is to just let yourself go like you’re shooting for the stars,” Mandarin explained. “The sky isn’t the limit.”
“It never was,” added Coach Rango. “This season has been our season, and we’ve redefined what it means to be an O’ranger. Have we done enough? No. We want to win it all, and with the next few events playing to our strengths underwater, in collision, and racing, I really think we’ll get there.”
However, what would happen next would become perhaps the most infamous moment of the O’rangers’ career, as they collapsed in a fashion that only their fiercest rivals had in years prior. The humiliation began with losing to the Oceanics in a water event, followed by placing last in Collision. Kinnowin would place eleventh in the Marathon, not high enough for the O’rangers to clinch the championship, as the team placed second overall, with 195 points and seven medals earned. The O’rangers finished as runners-up to none other than the Savage Speeders, who claimed their second Marble League championship in a stunning upset.
During the offseason, the O’rangers returned to Orlango to train. The atmosphere of the city seemed deprived, and the O’rangers fans seemed scarce in the city. There were rumors that an artist had graffitied an Amalanta Falcons logo on a billboard near the city, which would later be proven true by the team. The Falcons, a regional sports team, had notoriously choked their Mega Marble Classic title away after a commanding thirty-five to zero lead early on.
“It’s a shame that some of our fanbase is…very…temperamental,” Clementin said while the team attempted to remove the graffiti. “I understand that we blew it, trust me, I beat myself up about it all the time. But it pains me to see such heinous acts by our fans from a poor performance.”
“We still finished second!” Tangerin said. “Sure, we didn’t win. But I’m just happy we got an overall podium, and I wish our fanbase could be a bit more supportive.”
Following the return home, the O’rangers hosted a family reunion at the farm in an attempt to lighten the mood. As per reports of the locals, around 30 marbles in sparkling orange uniforms rolled up in a Rolls-Roldo limousine. The reunion lasted for a long time, as some of the family members, including Navelin, Sevillin, and Valencin, were still there by the time Stynth stopped by on their world tour!
“Family is everything, ya know?” A distant cousin of the O’Marbles, Hamlin, said. “They’ve been training out at the stadium for a while now, gotta reel ‘em in for family time sometimes.”
The O’rangers had indeed been working on upgrading their stadium, the Mandaring. Named in honor of the O’Marbles family leader and acting team manager, the stadium had been heavily considered to host the 2021 Marble League, and rightfully so: it was newly constructed, triple-tiered, and had a built-in fan section for O’rangers fans to yell to the stars.
“It’s been hard not to think about how close we’ve been to…a lot of things this year,” Coach Rango admitted. “But we have to keep going. Feeling bad for ourselves isn’t going to change the past, and it could hurt our future.”
“No matter whether we win or lose, we’re still the O’rangers,” asserted Kinnowin. “We still had an incredible season. I’m looking forward to where we roll next, but all that matters right now is harvesting these oranges!”
The Mandaring was home to a top-notch training facility, as well, where the O’rangers spent fair portions of their days’ training after harvesting oranges as a family.
“We were down after the end of this season, but I can’t focus on that right now. While my family is harvesting oranges, I’m looking forward to harvesting the Racer’s Championship in Marbula One,” Orangin smirked. “The fans have no idea what’s coming. Just you wait.”
Upon being re-invited to Marbula One Season 2, the O’rangers once again chose Clementin and Orangin to represent them. Clementin started the opening Grand Prix of Minty Mania with a poor result of thirteenth-place. After being selected to host the second Grand Prix of the season again, Orangin sadly could not deliver the result that they needed on their home turf again, tying the O’rangers for last with Team Galactic, the Minty Maniacs, and the Savage Speeders. Following a fourth-place qualifying at the Honeydome, the team finally scored, with Clementin placing ninth. Orangin placed tenth at the Aquamaring, leaving the team in sixteenth place in the overall standings.
After another poor qualifying for Orangin at the Tumult Turnpike, and the now-infamous “Pinball” moment on lap 2, they managed to claw back into the top ten and finish in ninth. At the Arctic Circuit, the O’rangers finally got their long-awaited medal, with a silver.
“Let the OOOOOOOs reign!” Clementin said celebrating after the event.
At the end of the first half of Marbula One, the O’Marbles traveled back to their farm to train at the Mandaring. Acting as Manager of the team now, Mandarin set up a press conference in Orlango while the rest of the team was training. The press conference had an astounding turn-out, as the booth was overflowing with passionate O’rangers fans.
I think we’re in the middle of our glory days. We haven’t missed a podium since 2019, and while we didn’t seal the deal in Marble League 2020, and it’s not looking like we’re going to make the podium in Marbula One, I’m proud to be a fan of the O’rangers.” Term, a longtime O’rangers fan said at the conference. “The O’rangers have the most dedicated and passionate fan base in all of JMR. A lot of people like to say they’re obnoxious, but I think their love for the team and dedication just outshine the other fanbases.” Term remarked on the Amalanta Falcons billboard. “Sometimes they just go…a bit overboard.”
Another O’rangers fan, Melanie, said; “ I remember [when I first saw the O’rangers] and the moment I saw that bright orange, I instantly fell in love.” They remarked upon how they fell in love with the team. “A particularly fond memory I have? There are many…One of course was Marble League 2017, where we outran the Savage Speeders in the final three events. That was fantastic. Then of course there was breaking the High Jump record…I could go on and on.”
After the press conference, Mandarin received the invite for the Marble League Winter Special. The team accepted hastily and spent long days and nights training in the Mandaring. The O’rangers had to deny the invitation to the Fruit Circuit Reunion, which was scheduled to happen at the same time as the Winter Special.
To start the season, it appeared that the O’rangers would be moving on to the semifinals in the Ice Dash until Smoggy from the Hazers drafted by at the last second. Clementin, furious with themselves, finished ninth.
“It was so heartbreaking. I thought I had ‘em, but I fell apart at the end.” Clementin said after the event. Kinnowin followed this up with a seventh-place finish at the Snowboard Cross. After an eleventh-place finish in Speed Skating, the team sat in eleventh place overall, but they would rise seven spots in the standings after breaking the track record at the Bobsled, securing gold.
“OOOOOOOOOOOOO!” They all shouted in unison as they stood triumphantly on the top step of the podium. That marked the fifth Marble League Record the O’rangers had broken since the start of the 2020 Marble League, adding on to their Halfpipe, Newton’s Cradle, Relay Race, and High Jump records.
The O’rangers entered the final event, Ice Hockey, with a chance to win it all. After knocking out the Pinkies and Minty Maniacs, they faced the Raspberry Racers in the semi-finals. Sadly, they could not muster the energy to beat the Racers and were relegated to the third-place match. This meant that the O’rangers would not win the Marble League Winter Special, but instead settled for runners-up overall following their bronze in hockey.
“I believe the team seems to be doing rather well.” JackJack, another O’rangers fan, said in an interview with CMM reporters after Ice Hockey concluded. “Their recent performances in Marble League 2020 and the Winter Special have been excellent, with two runner-up finishes. Now, they’ve got to get over the top of the hill and lock down a tournament win.”
Returning to Orlango to train for the second half of Marbula One, the team spent days in and out of the Mandaring, hoping that Clementin and Orangin could keep their podium streak alive in Marbula One. Orangin managed to finish ninth at the Raceforest, a notoriously difficult track that saw two yellow and two blue flags waved.
Clementin managed to finish well at the Momotorway, though, and placed fourth. Clementin had now cracked into the top ten of the Racer’s Championship.
“WOOOOO!” Tangerin said after the event. “That’s our darling!”
Orangin finally qualified well at Palette Park, with a fifth-place qualifier. With a seventh-place finish, Orangin clocked in their best result of the season so far.
At Misty Mountain, however, things took a turn for the worse for Clementin. After all the commotion and chaos caused by the three yellow (and red) flags, Clementin stalled on the final lap of the race and did not finish. The O’rangers hit the bottom half of the standings again.
The team was cautiously optimistic on the flight to Vellis. Clementin had had success at the Savage Speedway before, and the team hoped they could do it again. Sadly, however, Clementin could only muster an 11th place finish this time, and the O’rangers were knocked out of podium contention.
The final stop on the Marbula One agenda was Helarve; home of the Midnight Wisps. Orangin was chosen to represent in the finale this time.
“There’s been a lot of pressure on me recently,” Orangin said before the qualifiers. “From being promoted to one of the main team members, struggling in the first half of Marbula One, and now racing in the finale, I hope I can deliver.”
Orangin did indeed deliver another solid result, notching in six solid points with an eighth-place finish at the finale. The O’rangers would use this to squeak past Balls of Chaos and finish the season in tenth place.
“Sure, it may not have been the season we were looking for…” Clementin remarked. “But a top-half finish is still a top-half finish. Plus, it felt kind of nice to be in the midpack for once. We got too many nosebleeds from being so high up all the time…” they said with a smirk.
The team returned to Orlango, expecting disappointment from their fans. However, they didn’t find any. The residents all seemed to be at peace with everything, which “warmed our hearts,” Coach Rango said. The team had prepared a feast back at their farm to celebrate another successful season, as well as to the good times ahead.
“While we are athletes, we still are a family.” Tangerin, the new reserve member, said. “And family is what holds us all together, and makes us stronger as a team.” Orangin echoed Tangerin’s sentiments: “I think being a family has helped us bond in team events, and gives us just that extra push that we need. I hope we can continue the momentum in team events in Marble League 2021.”
The O’Marbles had a daily routine set up during the offseason. They woke up every morning with a batch of pancakes, then they headed out into the fields to harvest oranges. After that, they spent two to three hours training in the Mandaring. And to end their busy day, they watched a movie as a family, which was normally a Marble Cinematic Universe Movie. Orangin normally hogged the remote, (they responded to such allegations with ‘Hehe, I shall neither confirm nor deny this’) so they picked their favorite often (Captain Marble).
“We’ll be training harder than ever as the season approaches,” Kinnowin said. “But we still have to play to our strengths. Like we did in 2017 and 2018, taking a deep breath, and conserving our energy worked well. Last year, we did the exact opposite and fell flat on our faces at the end. We can’t do that again. We’re coming for the crown.”
The O’Marbles held one final get-together on their farm before the flight to Felynia, featuring a guest appearance from the MarBeats. The farm was filled to the brim with O’rangers fans who had come to wish the team good luck.
“It’s heartwarming to see the fanbase supporting the team again,” Hamlin said with a warm orange cider; a new drink the O’rangers were manufacturing on their farm now. “They’ll do good. I just know they will.”
The team boarded a long flight to Felynia for the Marble League Practice Race, where the team would select Kinnowin to represent them. Kinnowin crossed the line in a respectable seventh place for the team, continuing their traditionally strong sand performances.
“It felt good, particularly considering there were 28 competitors here as compared to the normal 16. I’m confident for the Marble League.” Kinnowin said.
In RetRollSpective, the O’rangers have not always been the champions that most of the fans perceive them to be. Regardless, the team’s history of comebacks and consistency has assured its place in Marble League and Marbula One history as one of their most persistent competitors, and therefore, one of their best. Whether or not the O’rangers win another Marble League, they have already made their mark on the tournament, and will always be remembered for their accomplishments. Best of luck to the O’rangers in the future, keep on rolling!
Special thanks to SuperJackJack for helping to design the Mandaring and MarBeats!