At the end of November, Stephen Hillenburg passed away after a battle with ALS, and someone has now decided they have found the perfect way to pay tribute to him. Fans want his greatest creation, a little sponge that lives in a pineapple under the sea, to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show in February.
As reported by ComicBook.com, a petition has been set up to have SpongeBob SquarePants perform “Sweet Victory” at the Super Bowl halftime show on February 3. At the time of writing, the petition, which can be found at Change.org, has already gathered over 1,029,000 signatures.
While petitions are not usually the way that halftime performers are selected for the event at the Mercedes Benz Dome, fans are remaining hopeful that tacking their name onto the end of the lengthy list will help get SpongeBob to the big stage. It also remains to be seen whether SpongeBob — who usually has his own “Bubble Bowl” show scheduled at the same time on his own television show — is even available to appear.
Isreal Colunga started the petition, and believes that it’s the best way that Hillenburg can be honored for his career in television — and the legacy he has left behind.
— Complex Pop Culture (@ComplexPop) December 26, 2018
“As some of you may or may not know, Stephen Hillenburg—the creator of Spongebob Squarepants—has passed away recently. 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,” the petition states as the problem. According to Colunga, the solution is to have the popular cartoon sponge perform the song.
Since it was created, the petition has garnered plenty of attention across social media, but there has been no statement by the NFL about whether or not there is even vague interest from their side in seeing SpongeBob on the hallowed stage.
Nickelodeon shared the news of Hillenburg’s death on November 27, releasing a statement sharing their grief over his loss.
“We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Today, we are observing a moment of silence to honor his life and work.”
The statement went on to call Hillenburg a “beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone” at the network, sharing just how much his creation had meant to them and children all over the world.