Super Bowl LIII, Maroon 5, Spongebob and the wrath of Bikini Bottom

spongebob squarepants sweet victory superbowl maroon 5 nickelodeon

It doesn’t take much for people to get riled up online, but when there’s promise of homage to be paid at a Superbowl half-time performance that doesn’t quite happen, you’re damn sure pitchforks will be raised.

This was the case on Sunday when Maroon 5 took to the stage to perform at the sport’s 53rd showpiece on Sunday.

For months, fans of Spongebob Squarepants created a petition to have “Sweet Victory” — an iconic song performed by the cast of the show during a “Bubble Bowl” — played at the 2019 half-time performance.

The gesture was a hat-tip to Squarepants creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died in November 2018.

“As a tribute to his legacy, his contributions to a generation of children, and to truly showcase the greatness of this song, we call for Sweet Victory to be performed at the Halftime Show,” read the petition.

And for a moment on Sunday, the Bikini Bottom faithful got what they wanted, but it didn’t last long.

Instead of playing out “Sweet Victory” in its entirety, five seconds of the song merely introduced Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode”.

Fans of the show, and the close to a million people who signed the petition, weren’t thrilled.

On Reddit, pitchfork-wielding r/BikiniBottomTwitter took to r/NFL to voice their anger, while on their own sub, more than 3700 posts were filed within the past day alone — the third most of any subreddit.

On Twitter, some are already calling the farce the “best and worst meme to happen this year”.

While others used the show’s cubic, absorbent but beautifully expressive protagonist to vent.

But perhaps a cameo at the show itself wasn’t the true tribute Hillenburg or Spongebob Squarepants fans deserved.

Reviews of the Maroon 5-led performance are calling it “dynamically flat, mushy at the edges”, “designed to be forgotten” and perhaps worst of all, “solidly one of the worst Super Bowl halftime shows ever“.

While the cameo itself became one of the biggest talking points of the match, even though the New England Patriots (and Tom Brady) just won its sixth title, the entire occasion will likely fade into obscurity.

In that case, perhaps Adam Levine and co. did the legacy of Hillenburg a favour.

Feature image: screenshot, Nickelodeon via YouTube

Andy Walker, former editor


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