By SAMUEL WEINSTEIN
One of the latest ideas that gained huge traction on the internet was a request to have Maroon 5 play the song “Sweet Victory” from SpongeBob SquarePants at the Super Bowl halftime show. The death of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob, in November 2018 triggered the creation of an online petition to honor Hillenburg with a performance of the song at the Super Bowl. The petition quickly garnered support with over 1.2 million signatures.
With such support, the NFL and Maroon 5 stood to gain so much from playing the song for the millions of SpongeBob fans, and they seemed primed to do so. From gifs tweeted by the stadium hosting the event, to journalists who reported seeing clips of the episode being played while Maroon 5 practiced, it seemed like the people’s wish would be granted.
After “Harder to Breathe,” “This Love,” and an Adam Levine guitar solo, it appeared that the petitioning had paid off. SpongeBob, Squidward, and the rest of the Bikini Bottom Band appeared on screen, and the trumpet intro to “Sweet Victory” began. For 10 seconds it seemed that all was well, but then the screen and tune changed. The intro to Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” began as a CGI meteor headed for Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Freshman biology major Laura McCann said, “Sicko Mode is an awful song, and to tease ‘Sweet Victory’ just to play that is awful.”
Other students didn’t particularly care whether or not “Sweet Victory” was played but were displeased with the halftime show nonetheless, such as freshman business administration major Luis Gavignano who said, “The halftime show was lackluster.”
Many are calling out the NFL for seeming to promise that “Sweet Victory” would be played.
“It was a bad publicity stunt to tease it,” said freshman English major Elena Macdonald.
The NFL is part of the entertainment industry, and the entertainment industry relies on their fans and viewers to continue tuning in to their programs. By not following through the NFL has lost the respect and trust of many people who just wanted to do something special for someone special to them. Stephen Hillenburg left behind a legacy of love, imagination, and fun with SpongeBob, and the NFL’s choice to give him some recognition with the clip was good, but to his fans and supporters it was a snub, not an honor.