CRAZY CAT'S EYES (CCE)
Red Eye (Captain)
White Eye (Coach)
Felynia Coliseum (Felynia; ML)
Marble League 2018; Marble League 2019; Marble League 2020; Marbula One Season 2 (Champions); Marble League 2021 (Host)
The team hails from Felynia, a city perched between two rivers in North Africa known for its prestige in film and entertainment. The dunes to the east of the city are nicknamed the “Cat’s Dunes” in honor of Crazy Cat’s Eye, a Marble Rally athlete that trains there in solitude. Crazy Cat’s Eye’s fans in the city are numerous, but they train alone in the dry, hot sand, knowing no fan is crazy enough to travel as far into the desert as them.
Their fans in the city may be numerous, but only six of them have joined Crazy Cat’s Eye in international marble sports tournaments. The Crazy Cat’s Eyes, inspired by but not affiliated with the Marble Rally athlete, became the only major sports team in Felynia. Each team member hails from a different district in the city, chosen to represent Felynia in marble sports.
The city of Felynia submitted the team to compete in Knikkegen Marble League 2015, which had received an influx of applications from around the world. The Cat’s Eyes were accepted into the tournament and honed skills of stealth and speed, two ancient Felyni traditions, in their training. After placing eleventh in their rookie season, the team returned home to Felynia as Marble League 2016 began, but they continued to train. A year and a half later, the team’s application for Marble League 2018 Qualifiers was accepted, and the Crazy Cat’s Eyes left for the Arctic Circle to compete in Group A. They qualified for the main tournament in fourth.
With a bronze and a record-breaking gold, the Crazy Cat’s Eyes were one of ten teams that could win the 2018 Marble League going into the final event and finished their rookie season in tenth. Despite a troubling offseason, they qualified for Marble League 2019 in third place. The Cat’s Eyes would finish Marble League 2019 eleventh overall.
When the Crazy Cat’s Eyes lined up before the Andromedome balance beam, it was the first time they had competed together in a year. The other teams read the press releases – that Felynia’s High Council, led by the fair Cleocatra, invested heavily in the team, that they now had a new manager by the name of Bullseye – but none of that mattered if the athletes flopped in the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers. However, they put all fears to rest when they placed second, only below the Savage Speeders.
While the Cat’s Eyes started Marble League 2020 as one of the only teams putting pressure on the duel between the O’rangers and Minty Maniacs, the gap began to widen towards the middle of the season, and even after earning one of each medal, the Cat’s Eyes were in fifth heading into the Marathon. With their newfound friends on the Turtle Sliders there to support them, could the Cat’s Eyes keep their eyes on the prize?
Even after starting in fifth in the Marathon after a consensus among the coaches and ruling by the former JMRC, Red Eye still lost control in the opening laps, but after making multiple overtakes out of the starting gate, they advanced to fifth a third of the way through and climbed their way to a bronze medal. The Crazy Cat’s Eyes secured a fifth-place finish in the 2020 Marble League with 160 points, and the celebration was just getting started, as it was announced that the Crazy Cat’s Eyes were selected to host the 2021 Marble League.
The schedule was tight for the athletes. In Felynia, the High Council would tear down Felynia’s athletic fields to build a world-class Coliseum, with seating for 20,000. Suddenly, the team had to manage business deals and stadium construction.
The coach also had to respond to the JMRC invitation for the second season of Marbula One. There was no denying sending Red Eye, the “Crimson Cat,” but the second spot was harder. As some Felyni pundits predicted, Yellow Eye’s superior form to Green Eye at Polaria gave them the nod for Marbula One. The “Flashy Feline” joined the team captain on a promotional shoot in the dunes, thrusting Yellow Eye into the eyes of marble sports fans.
With no circuit up to grade for Marbula racing in Felynia, manager Bullseye struck a deal with Limers’ manager Blimey, renting out their legacy Sotsevsa track for training between each Grand Prix. Two weeks before the Minty Mania GP, Red Eye and Yellow Eye would take turns setting times at the Sotsevsa “Lime Lap,” shaped like an L and allowing the Cat’s Eyes to practice coming out of turns and accelerating on straights.
There is no lack of replays of the first four GPs for the Cat’s Eyes. No team so consistently challenged or took the lead in every race of the season’s first half. The Cat’s Eyes podiumed in four of six GPs, scoring 102 points, ahead of second-place by a gold medal’s worth in points. For the first time, the Racer’s Standings had first and second both occupied by the same team, Red Eye at 52 points and Yellow Eye at 50.
Even with such a lead in the Championship, the Crazy Cat’s Eyes kept to their routine. Invited to the Marble League Winter Special, Coach White Eye wanted to give their Marbula One stars extra rest and sent Blue Eye into the opening 5 Meter Ice Dash. Placed into a “heat of death” with Smoggy, Clementin, and Minty Drizzel, that extra rest paid off when Blue Eye charged past Clementin and set a new event record. The team finished eleventh overall with a total of 35 points, but in the end, the team had scored eleventh before and they took the results in stride.
Red Eye made an early trip out of the Himarblelayas to acquaint themselves with the Raceforest track. Just a week and a half later, they’d win their second gold with the fastest lap, triumphing in a fierce duel with Speedy. The bar was raised to the highest level in the Cat’s Eyes’ friendly rivalry, and yet Yellow Eye met it on the Momotorway to win that GP. Suddenly the Cat’s Eyes had 51 more points and 153 points total, eliminating ten teams from the Teams’ Championship with four more GPs to go.
The world truly changed for the Cat’s Eyes after those back-to-back golds. In a good way, according to Cyan Eye: Demand was overwhelming for watch parties held on whatever grounds were open around Felynia Coliseum. The first party was held during Red Eye’s Palette Park practice trials, and on many stands one saw two fans balanced on top of one another, all rooting for their captain on the Jumbotron.
In a bad way, according to Red Eye: the mood changed for them when they saw Speedy’s press conference before Palette Park. After Red Eye’s fourth-to-last showing at that GP, the pressure got to Yellow Eye too, who was caught in the back half for most of Misty Mountain GP and ended in thirteenth. Just as the outside press focused on Red and Yellow Eye after Momotorway, they now hyped up the odds of Speedy or Hazy seizing the Racer’s Championship.
The rest is history: Red Eye silenced the crowd with a lap 0.1 seconds faster than all others in the Qualifiers, followed by a pole position. Speedy could only watch on as Red Eye never looked back from an early challenge by Prim. The Cat’s Eye extended their lead every lap until they finished a full eight seconds ahead of the runner-up. Red Eye scored the first “purr-fect” 27-point weekend in Marbula One history and clinched the M1 Season Championship for the Cat’s Eyes that evening.
The coda of the Cat’s Eyes’ Marbula One season was Yellow Eye’s tenth place finish at the Midnight Bay Circuit. The team didn’t capture first and second in the Racer’s Standings, not without trying; Yellow Eye just was too inconsistent navigating the circuit’s turns. But with the season over, one lapse was no longer worth putting off all the reasons to celebrate.
The same week that all 2021 Marble League teams were to attend the Qualifying Group draw at Felynia Coliseum, the Felynia High Council organized an exhibition Practice Race. Televised across Marblearth to exhibit the natural beauty and wildlife beyond the city, the race fielded one racer from every team present at Polaria last year. The track was a classic sand rally track on the outskirts of the Cat’s Dunes. Red Eye took the front row alongside Wispy, Razzy, Ocean, and Momomomo.
Perched on stands next to the starting gate, the Cat’s Eyes attendees erupted as Red Eye took the inside line and was in the top 8 after the opening turn. As their fans now expect, the new Racer Champion fell to the midpack to tenth after the first sector but clawed up the ranks from there. Their rivals lost grip on the banked turns took long detours or even fell prey to the local beetles. A last-minute block from the Chocolatiers’ Bonbon meant Red Eye had to be content with fifth, still the best showing that day of any racer from the last Marbula One season.
The Cat’s Eyes headed into the Friendly Round 2021 to the roar of their fanbase, doing waves across their sections in the stands to support the team on their home turf. A select group of fans reserved one section to outline the team’s logo with their uniforms, holding raffles before each event to get as many fans as possible to participate. Fans would end up having the best deal during the Friendly Round, as they watched the Cat’s Eyes win the tournament convincingly.
The main tournament was less certain for the Crazy Cat’s Eyes, who went from a rough start to earning gold in a record-breaking 5 Meter Sprint performance. Yet, it was not until the second half, particularly the final quarter, that the team was able to break into serious championship contention. A bronze and a gold redeemed the team with two events to go, and heading into the final event, they were one of twelve teams that could win Marble League 2021. With Red Eye placing fifth in Marblocross, the team finished fifth overall as well, the best performance of any Marble League host to date.
After delivering a keynote speech at the city of Nijellen’s dedication ceremony, Red Eye received a letter they had been expecting. As reigning team champions of Marbula One, the Crazy Cat’s Eyes accepted their invitation to Season 3, and Red Eye, reigning racer’s champion, joined Yellow Eye to defend their titles.
Special thanks to Project Marblearth contributors Fouc, Ghostly, and Stynth for helping craft the lore of the Crazy Cat’s Eyes.