PURPLE ROCKETS (PPR)
Space Station (Sheetersburg)
Rocket Ring (Sheetersburg)
Marble ManiaX (Champion)
Hailing from the frigid city of Sheetersburg, the Purple Rockets are a team that made their professional sports debut at the Stardust Classic in 2014. But before that, they were all members of the Astrophotography Club at their university in Sheetersburg. The five original team members met while at Astrophotography Club, where they instantly bonded over their love and passion for Marble Sports. One afternoon, on an astrophotography excursion into the woods, Orbit set up a maze made in the snow outside, where they competed in races amongst themselves. Shortly after graduating from university in 2013, the team began training day and night. They had been taken under the wing of one of their former professors, Rocket, who began coaching the team. The team participated in an exhibition tournament in Sheetersburg in the winter, where they won three of the four events, to everybody’s surprise. And sure enough, later that year the Purple Rockets were given an invitation to the Stardust Classic, a regional tournament that would be held in Polaria by Royal Stardust.
The Purple Rockets started the tournament with a bang, as Sulfur earned the Purple Rockets the first gold of the competition. The team wouldn’t win another medal until Event 4 of the competition: Diving, where they set the event record with an 11.76 and earned their second gold. They would go on to win one more medal, a bronze in the Black Hole Funnel. They finished Stardust Classic 2014 in third place, just a few points behind the Solar Flares in second, but well behind the champions, Team Galaxy. The team returned to Sheetersburg triumphant after a successful season and spent the winter teaching local students astronomy and building a training facility. They would return to the Classic in 2015 with their heads held high, and eyes set on the overall victory.
Stardust Classic 2015 kicked off with the Dirt Race, where Saucer would deliver a bronze, earning the team another early medal. From there, the team did not let go of the championship at all, with their performance as dominant as Team Galaxy’s (now known as Team Galactic) the prior year. Orbit won gold in the Hurdles, the team won the Relay Run and Block Pushing, (even over the newly-formed Shadow Riders; whose claim to fame was Block Pushing domination) and Sulfur finished second in the Sprint. The Purple Rockets had clinched the championship victory before the final event, which hadn’t been decided yet.
Following the Sprint Race, which was the penultimate event of the tournament this year, Royal Stardust approached the team and offered them a chance to host the final event back in Sheetersburg. They accepted without hesitation, and the final event of the 2015 Stardust Classic would be the Rocket Ring GP, the Purple Rockets’ training track. Dwarf raced for the Rockets and earned them another silver medal, their sixth medal in eight events. The Purple Rockets won the championship by thirty-three points over the Blood Moons, and then a further two over the Tubular Terrestrials.
Unfortunately, the Stardust Classic disbanded following this season when several teams withdrew from the competition; Team Galactic joined the newly founded Marble League, and Royal Stardust became busy monitoring the region of Polaria. The Purple Rockets, slightly disheartened, disbanded for the time being, and went along to pursue careers in the space field. Orbit became an astrophysicist and helped design components for the International Space Marble. Dwarf became a Team Galactic superfan and would be found in a Team Galactic uniform cheering them on from the stands in every Marble League event. Sulfur became a rocket designer and helped design many rockets, including the one that took Astron to space. Saucer and Blast joined coach Rocket as astronomy professors at Sheetersburg University and helped run the Astrophotography Club.
Over the next few years, the Purple Rockets’ lives would be relatively uneventful, save for Dwarf’s life as a superfan of Team Galactic. A moment they all shared was during Marble League 2017 when Starry won Team Galactic their first-ever gold. After Marble League 2020, Orbit was working on a new part designed for the ISM when they caught Cosmo, the captain of Team Galactic, in a special Cable Marble Media segment. There, Cosmo announced that the Andromedome would be hosting a Stardust Classic Reunion, inviting previous competitors to compete in a special exhibition tournament. The Purple Rockets members all met on a video call and decided that they would give competing another shot. They attended the reunion, and their results once again were impressive: finishing third overall, just nine points behind Team Galactic.
Following the reunion, the Rockets craved more competition and sought out other competitions to take part in. Saucer and Blast did not wish to compete and returned to their jobs as astronomy professors, but the rest of the team continued to search for competitions. Orbit managed to find a local youth league that was starting up, called the Marble Sports Games, and managed to reserve a spot for the Purple Rockets based on their impressive Stardust Classic results. It was during this time that Smokey and Smoggy, two marbles from Rocketvok with the same names as members of the Hazers, managed to get in contact with Coach Rocket. Smokey and Smoggy joined the team shortly after, and the Purple Rockets were ready to roll in the Marble Sports Games. The tournament was hosted by The Emperor, a long-time Team Galactic fan and future member of the Jelle’s Marble Association. Unfortunately, the Purple Rockets’ debut in the Marble Sports Games would not be as successful as their Stardust Classic runs. Even though they had two silvers and one bronze, the Purple Rockets ended the tournament with 82 points, in dead last.
The upcoming winter edition of the Marble Sports Games, hosted by the Valiant Vanillas in Vanillsinki, seemed to favor the Rockets’ advantage training in the cold, wintery atmosphere of Sheetersburg. However, the Qualifiers would not reflect that. The team finished in eighteenth with no medals earned, and their highest result was a fifth-place finish in Balancing. They would look for redemption in the B-League, however, and they found it, winning three straight silver medals and finishing in second place overall. The Rockets’ Season 3 B-League would be admittedly worse than the prior season as the team barely scraped by the relegation bubble, placing eighth overall. But that wouldn’t be the most disappointing thing that the Rockets would deal with at the end of this B-League. Smokey and Smoggy announced that they would be leaving the team, stating that they had “lost the spark of competition” that they had once had.
The four remaining Rockets returned to Sheetersburg, disheartened, but still, determined to keep their legacy going. They met up with Saucer and Blast and decided that it would be best to take a break from training, and get out and do something together, as friends. They unanimously decided to take part in watching Marble League 2021 from the stands, and all donned Team Galactic uniforms. The team sat in the Team Galactic fan section for the Marble League Showdown, where they saw Astron win gold in the Sprint, and Starry win silver in Marblocross. As they left the stadium, united once more, the Purple Rockets were hungry for more competition…and more competition they would have.
It was the time of year again for the Stardust Classic to be up and running. However, with Team Galactic returning to Galakonur to focus on their training for the upcoming Marbula One Season 3, Royal Stardust needed a different hosting venue. And that was when they approached the Purple Rockets to host Stardust Classic 2021. The Mayor of Sheetersburg, Shuttle, offered to renovate the Rockets’ training facility for them and turn it into a new and improved, large-scale stadium. The Rockets graciously accepted, and soon, construction of the Space Station was completed. The Purple Rockets invited seven former Stardust Classic teams to compete in the tournament. With one gold and two bronzes, including a clutch finish in fourth from Dwarf in the Rocket Ring GP, the Purple Rockets would end up finishing fifth overall with 56 points.
The Sheetersburg residents were beginning to get excited. The Purple Rockets had built up a lot of small successes over the years now, and there was a rumor that they were a frontrunner for a new, big event coming up soon. But for now, they had their eyes focused on finally qualifying for the Marble Sports Games, hosted by The Emperor (now a JMA Member) once more, and shortly after the conclusion of the Stardust Classic, they flew over to Burnsville for the fourth edition of the tournament. During their training regiments, Coach Rocket received a formal invite to a new, upcoming tournament hosted by the Balls of Chaos, commissioned by Dion Bakker, and officiated by none other than Jelle’s Marble Runs.
The Purple Rockets were once again stuck in the B-League of the Marble Sports Games following dismal Qualifiers but now had to balance between two tournaments, with Marble ManiaX about to start. Thankfully, their start to the B-League was relatively good, and to end off the first half of the league, they won a bronze. The Purple Rockets’ big stage debut in Jelle’s Marble Runs, in contrast, could not have gone much better. Competing with some of the best prospective teams, as well as three Marble League teams, they won a joint-silver medal with the Black Jacks; the first podium tie in their history. In the next event of Marble ManiaX, Sulfur was crashing into dominoes, and not off of the course, and the Purple Rockets earned their second silver medal in two events. Blast was the next one up in the Marble Sports Games, and in their first event in the competition, snagged a top-half finish in Funnel Endurance. Meanwhile, in the Marble ManiaX edition of funnels, Dwarf put up a solid showing as well, with a fourth-place finish, which rocketed the team up to first place overall.
The Purple Rockets’ next endeavor would be for the B-League Finale at the Marble Sports Games; the Gravitrax Slalom. And the Rockets delivered another great performance, with a silver medal, to ensure that they would advance to the Qualifiers for the next season. The Purple Rockets finished the B-League sixth overall, enough to secure advancement to the Season 5 Qualifiers. With that locked up, they returned to Hunluen for the Obstacle Run, the fourth event of Marble ManiaX. Saucer was selected to participate and delivered the Purple Rockets’ third silver medal in four events.
The final obstacle in the Purple Rockets’ way was the daunting event of Super Collision. An obstacle, it appeared, that the Purple Rockets were not ready to handle. They lost that battle, placing last in the event, but won the war, as the Purple Rockets, with just three silver medals and 27 points, won Marble ManiaX. They became the first team in JMR history to win a tournament without any gold medals.
Special thanks to Project Marblearth contributor The Emperor for helping craft the lore of the Purple Rockets.