The NFL Super Bowl half-time show is always something of a spectacle in and of itself. Usually subject to an immense amount of mystery and intrigue leading up to the big event, it’s a show which has spawned various memes and even pop culture landmarks over the years. Where else would we have been without awkward dancing sharks and the term ‘wardrobe malfunction’ if not for the NFL? This year’s event, the 53rd, was billed to be something very special indeed – oddly enough, for fans of SpongeBob Squarepants – however, it really didn’t turn out that way.
According to CNet, fans are apparently split as to whether or not a tribute to the long-running animated series, and its late creator Stephen Hillenburg, was all worth it. A petition to honor Hillenburg’s memory at the next half-time show had been gaining traction since his passing – and it’s all thanks to a classic episode of the cartoon. In the episode ‘Band Geeks’, SpongeBob and his friends perform a rousing power ballad entitled ‘Sweet Victory’ – and the song has gone down as one of the most unexpected and popular twists in the show’s history. To say it’s slotted in well with the waves of SpongeBob memes over the years is putting it mildly, too.
'Spongebob' Fans Not Happy Over Brief Super Bowl Cameo [video]
Fans were therefore excited to see that Maroon 5 – who had been confirmed to headline the half-time show at Super Bowl LIII – teased a clip of SpongeBob in their ‘trailer’ for their upcoming performance. Fans were anticipating that ‘Sweet Victory’ would be performed in full, or at least shown – however, it transpired that only a short clip from the ‘Band Geeks’ episode was shown ahead of Travis Scott performing ‘Sicko Mode’.
While some fans took to Twitter to praise the moment in memory of Hillenburg, many others were incensed by the fact that they were teased a moment that never truly appeared. The half-time show in general also faced criticism from viewers – making it perhaps one of the most controversial in recent history. Quite where the storm following the ‘Sweet Victory’ scandal goes from here is anyone’s guess – but across social media, Reddit and elsewhere on the web, thousands of dedicated and disappointed SpongeBob fans speak out against decisions made. Will the drama go down as one of the most shocking moments in entertainment in 2019? Let’s wait and see what the rest of the year holds for us…