Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bored sports fans say fuck it, go all in on marble racing

Illustration for article titled Bored sports fans say fuck it, go all in on marble racing
Screenshot: Marbula E Race 1 “Paris” (YouTube)

With most professional sports still on hold for the foreseeable future, Americans have turned their attention to what is sure to be the national pastime of the future. No, not Blernsball. We’re talking marble racing.


Of course, competitive marble racing is nothing new. For years, YouTube channels like Jelle’s Marble Runs have featured videos of little multi-colored glass balls careening around makeshift tracks, thrilling bored internet viewers to no end. Now, however, pandemic-induced quarantine and a lack of alternate spectator sports has launched marble racing into a whole new realm of popularity.

“It sucks us into another world, another dimension without war, misery, and negativity,” says Dion Bakker, co-creator of the aforementioned Jelle’s Marble Runs, in a recent interview with The New York Times. Last month, one of Jelle’s older videos featuring a marble race on a sandy track was retweeted by Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz and has since been viewed over 35 million times. The loss of professional sports also happened to coincide with the channel’s recent expansion, which included the introduction of Marbula One, a multi-lap race inspired by real-life Formula One racing, and Marbula E, which will see these marble racers teaming up with actual drivers from the Formula E racing team Envision Virgin Racing.

Plus, if you’re bummed about the 2020 Summer Olympics being postponed this year, you can supplement that thrill of a competitive, multi-part athletic event with Marble League 2020. Given that no actual athletes will be involved in the event, they’re still on schedule to kick things off this June. Place your bets now.


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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Pay me to write for you, you coward.

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