RetRollSpective – Jawbreakers

Hello and welcome to another RetRollSpective, a series that reflects on the history of marble athletes. This time, we’re going to focus on the Jawbreakers, a team which originated in the 2016 Marble League. Read on to see how this team has crushed its competition!

The logo for the Jawbreakers, designed by Tim Ritz.

The Jawbreakers have been involved in marble sports for many years, but only expressed interest in the Marble League as teams were being invited to the tournament. The original team, consisting of Candy, Tidbit, Mouthful, and Tongue Twister, were originally involved in professional wrestling, and competed against each other in lucha marbre leagues such as the Extreme Lucha Marbre Championship in South America. Candy, the only athlete who has remained on the team since its inception, is from the city of Jawnair on the southeastern coast. While he was a wrestler, he was known as “King Candy, the Jawbreaker”.

Candy, Tidbit, Mouthful, and Tongue Twister were known as the “elite four” of the ELMC, and were in a fierce rivalry for many years. In fact, all four of them have expressed their past distaste for each other in interviews:

            “Candy has always been as annoying as a toothache,” Mouthful complained, after a gut-wrenching loss to him in Jawnair. “I could never see myself getting along with him.”

            “Candy consistently crushes the competition,” told Tongue Twister. “Whenever I beat him, it’s a sweet victory for me.”

This lovely graphic of the Jawbreakers wrestling was designed by Betawolfs!

“Look, there’s a reason they call me a king. They all know that I’m the best,” asserted Candy. “And they all know that I’m the glue that keeps everyone together in this rivalry.”

            Tidbit shuffled off to the side when interviewed. “Honestly…I don’t really care about Candy. It’s just Mouthful and Tongue Twister…they’re so relentless about winning against Candy that it makes me want to fight them even more.”

The Jawbreakers each became individually famous as wrestlers, but made headlines in 2010 when they decided to compete in an exhibition race as a part of the Surculo. The exhibition called for other sports leagues to participate in a short sand race down Colina Umerun to raise money for the preservation of Numerun Antigua. Thousands of fans throughout Central and South America petitioned the ELMC for what they thought was the impossible—an “elite four” team up. After signing dozens of contracts and waivers, the Jawbreakers applied together, using Candy’s nickname as their team name, to compete in the race.

They finished third, a surprising feat for a team of professional wrestlers with no synergy between the four. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that a team of BASE jumpers, who nearly overslept after going out the night before, won the race. The Jungle Jumpers would join the Surculo the following year after retiring. The Jawbreakers followed in their footsteps not long after.

The original members of the Jawbreakers.

“Everything changed after that race. We realized that we have much more in common than we thought,” Tidbit remarked. “We became less motivated to tear each other apart because we had that experience together, and it wasn’t long before we realized we wanted more of that.”

            “We became more motivated to tear apart the Jungle Jumpers, which we were finally able to do in the 2015 Surculo,” Candy asserted. “It did take us a few years to get through to the elite tournament, but we did, and we were triumphant in the end.”

With the announcement of the 2016 Marble League, Greg Woods extended an invite to the leading teams of many regional marble sports tournaments. This included the top three teams of the 2015 Surculo, and the Jawbreakers accepted as the top team in the tournament. The Jungle Jumpers declined so they could vie for the 2016 Surculo championship.

The Jawbreakers debuted in eleventh place, but quickly turned their season around by earning two back-to-back silver medals in the Relay Race (qualifying for the final on the faulty track) and in Collision. The team peaked after the third event at second in the standings, but stayed in the top three after Candy finished fourth in the Sand Rally. That said, the Jawbreakers did not fare well during the rest of the season, earning just three points over the next eight events. They finished seventh overall, landing in the middle of the sixteen competitors.

The Jawbreakers' silver medal in Collision.

During the offseason leading into the 2017 Marble League, a major shakeup occurred in the team’s lineup, with every member leaving the team except Candy. When questioned about the changes, Candy was bitter:

            “I was miserable last year [in 2016]. I don’t care how well we placed, you all treated me like I was a cough drop. Sugar, Sweet, and Taffy are all amazing teammates. They listen to me, and no matter what happens, at least we know we’re doing the right thing.”

Candy recruited Sugar, Sweet, and Taffy from Jawnair’s premier wrestling league, citing them as “some of the strongest, fairest” marbles he had ever known. His decision seemed to pay off during the 2017 Marble League Qualifiers, where Sugar won the Sand Rally and put the Jawbreakers in the position to qualify in tenth overall.

The Jawbreakers were optimistic for their performance in the main tournament, but they did not impress. The team did not make the podium once during the season, although they came close with Taffy’s 37,5 cm performance during the High Jump. With several finishes in the middle of the pack, the Jawbreakers finished the 2017 Marble League in a regrettable thirteenth place.

Tidbit joined sometime before the 2018 Winter Marble League Qualifiers as the Jawbreakers’ reserve, hoping to bring back some of the inaugural season’s successes. Sadly, the team was never within reach of qualifying in Group A, staying in fifth for three of the four events and dropping to sixth after the Halfpipe.

The unqualified teams of the 2018 Winter Marble League.

“I apologized to Candy about our many arguments. Well, I didn’t really participate in them. I mostly sided with Mouthful and Tongue Twister,” Tidbit explained. “So I guess I apologized to Candy for siding with them. He forgave me, and I was accepted onto the team as a reserve member.”

After witnessing the 2018 Winter Marble League from the stands, the Jawbreakers competed in the Consolation Race, submitting Taffy. Taffy placed tenth, doing the worst of any team that is still active in the Marble League. Sugar competed in the 100 Meter Water Race and was unable to finish the race, placing twenty-fifth. The four team members competed in the Amazing Maze Marble Race and placed tenth overall, blocked from advancing to the semifinals by the Savage Speeders and O’rangers’ advancements.

The team was not expected to qualify for the 2019 Marble League, but then again, neither were the Chocolatiers. The Jawbreakers did not place above twelfth in any of the four events, failing to qualify in seventeenth place.

            “It’s pretty clear that the Jawbreakers of 2019 are not the Jawbreakers of 2016,” Mouthful mused. “Maybe if King Candy hadn’t been so bossy, we would have done better. I personally wish nothing but the worst for them.”

The team's first individual medal in the Marble League, claimed by "King" Candy.

The Jawbreakers needed a breakout moment, and Candy, now appointed the team’s captain, needed reassurance more than anyone else on the team. After acquiring Gummy as the team’s coach, the Jawbreakers began training for the 2019 Marble League Showdown, a tournament that would define their placement in the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers. Candy’s debut in the first event, the Sand Rally, gave him the justification he had been seeking for three years:

            “I promise you that we’re doing the right thing. Look, it just worked. I—I mean, we—just got our first medal in over two years. I think that means we’re on the right track.”

Tidbit finally competed in his first event during Collision, where the team lost during the quarterfinals and placed eighth. The Jawbreakers kept the rest of their placements in the middle and finished the Showdown in fifth, advancing to the next season’s qualifiers.

In RetRollSpective, the Jawbreakers have had a host of issues over the past four years, but they may be on the verge of a breakthrough. Candy is the team’s most experienced athlete and cares the most about keeping the Jawbreakers going, despite having fallouts with past team members. We hope that the team will experience their sweet victory one day, just as they did in lucha marbre competitions years ago. Best of luck to the Jawbreakers in the 2020 Marble League Qualifiers, keep on rolling!

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