While people who watched the Super Bowl LIII live from Atlanta, Georgia, had plenty of thoughts on the show, many noticed that characters from SpongeBob Squarepants appeared during the transition between Travis Scott and Maroon 5.
The surprising reason why the characters like SpongeBob and Squidward Tentacles appeared, according to a KOCO News 5 report, was as a tribute to the show’s late creator, Stephen Hillenburg. Well before the big game, fans of the iconic cartoon petitioned the NFL asking that the song “Sweet Victory” feature during the halftime show.
The reason is that in 2001, SpongeBob and friends performed the song in the halftime of the “Bubble Bowl” during an episode named “Band Geeks.” More than 1.2 million people signed the petition leading up to the Super Bowl. While the halftime show did not feature a performance of the song, “Sweet Victory,” many people knew that the cameo from the cartoon characters was a tribute to Hillenburg, who passed away from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis last November.
According to a report from E! News, people who tuned in to watch the halftime show preferred the cartoon characters’ cameo to the actual performances on the field by Travis Scott, Maroon 5, and Big Boi. People felt the sponge who famously lives in a pineapple under the sea got the short end of the stick with such a brief appearance in the show.
— NFL (@NFL) February 4, 2019
“SpongeBob tribute was the best part of the Super Bowl so far,” American YouTube star Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, tweeted. Many fans replied to his tweet with complaints that the lack of the song “Sweet Victory” made the cartoon character’s appearance a disappointment.
“Idk what you mean, them not actually playing the song was a bigger let down than this whole Super Bowl so far,” one fan replied.
Many people believed that the screentime for the square yellow sponge who wears pants wasn’t even long enough to be considered an actual tribute.
Current mood after they had Spongebob in the halftime show BUT DIDNT EVEN PLAY SWEET VICTORY pic.twitter.com/Dqyhq8rxe5
— mattress (@semattis) February 4, 2019
The Inquisitr reported that reactions to the performances were hilarious. At the half, the Patriots led the Rams 3-0, so fans were ready to enjoy something awesome during halftime. Unfortunately, the show did not live up to the typical Super Bowl hype. In fact, by the end of halftime, when both teams came back onto the field, viewers were not any happier than they had been when the teams ran off the field. Overall, SpongeBob appeared to be the MVP of the entire night, despite his brief appearance.