By Courtney Klaus, Editor-In-Chief
I am not a football person. I also watch all the Super Bowl commercials online the day before kick-off. So, why on earth would a person like me tune in to Sunday night’s game?
Well, let me tell you. I watched for a very specific reason. I watched to see the epitome of my childhood nostalgia be immortalized in one of the most famous TV events of the year. I watched feeling hopeful, but I left feeling Krabby. Krabby, and cheated.
For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a bit of context: In 2001, a little episode of the popular cartoon “Spongebob Squarepants” aired. It was titled “Band Geeks,” and in it, Squidward, Spongebob’s grouchy neighbor, has to put a band together at the last minute to perform at the Bubble Bowl. When all looks hopeless, Spongebob brings the denizens of Bikini Bottom together to shock everyone at the Bowl with a heartfelt performance of the song “Sweet Victory.” To this day, the episode is a fan-favorite.
To see the Bikini Bottom Super Band perform at the real-life Super Bowl was a pipe dream of Spongebob fans for many years.
With the recent passing of Stephen Hillenburg, Spongebob’s creator, fans hoped the NFL would finally hear them out. An online petition to put “Sweet Victory” in the Super Bowl as a tribute to Hillenburg was started and it amassed over a million signatures.
Despite the popularity of the idea, I wasn’t that hopeful. Afterall, this year the Super Bowl halftime show couldn’t have picked a more milquetoast act than Maroon 5. How would the fun quirky energy of Spongebob mesh with the most tiresome band still aired on pop radio? (Seriously, doesn’t Maroon 5 just keep releasing the same three songs every year?) I thought there was no way they would actually do this for us.
But, then the Maroon 5 halftime hype video dropped and fans were ecstatic. Spongebob appeared for just a split second, confirming the rumor: he would make an appearance at this year’s Super Bowl.
My heart was happy, but my gut was still skeptical. This was too good to be true. I anxiously awaited the halftime show, but just seconds in, I already smelled a rat. This was not going to go as fans had hoped.
First of all, The stage was set to M for Maroon 5, when it clearly should’ve been set to W for Wumbo.
Maroon 5 started the show with their 16-year-old hit “Harder to Breathe,” sans Spongebob. I started to get nervous.
At this point I wondered whether Maroon 5 should even be considered a technical “band.” The opening song was the only part of the show where the camera man even seemed to acknowledge that Maroon 5 was more than one person. Honestly, does anyone even know the names of any of the band members other than Adam Levine? And that’s saying something, because Levine has all the on-stage charisma of a stick of margarine.
Levine, a four-layer fashion disaster, trotted on the stage wearing bling around his neck and a peacoat over what looked like a jacket sponsored by Dunkin Donuts and a checkered shirt resembling couch upholstery. He half-moonwalked center stage, commenced that signature nasally whine of his and hogged the spotlight for himself.
The rest of the band stood in back, oftentimes literally in shadow. I felt for whoever the emo pink-hoodie kid playing the keyboard was. Halfway through he seemed almost as bored as I was. But I digress.
Where was Spongebob?
Three minutes in, and finally we got our answer. Squidward appeared, raised his baton, and said, “Now, a true musical genius who needs no introduction.”
Spongebob flashed on the screen for one single second. Then, the animated fish raised their horns and began to play. I gasped. This was it. It was finally happening.
Cue the trap beat, and my dreams were crushed.
Faster than you can say “Are you ready kids?” and the whole animated segment was over and Travis Scott swooped in from nowhere and took the stage to perform “Sicko Mode.”
It seemed appropriate that Levine and Scott would repeatedly belt out the words “out like a light” because by this point I was ready to go to sleep.
The entire animated Spongebob segment was a measly 13 seconds long out of a whole 13 minute long set from Maroon 5. Levine’s stomach tattoo got more screen time.
The halftime show was a disappointment to say the least. It was practically an insult. The “Sweet Victory” performance in Spongebob is only a minute and a half long, and you’re telling me they couldn’t have fit more of it in somehow?
I’m not just speaking for myself, I’m speaking for the vast majority of those Spongebob fans who watched.
Check out the halftime show’s dislike ratio on YouTube if you don’t believe me.
The comment section is littered with the laments of scorned Spongebob fans. They’re saying Maroon 5 is the next Nickelback, that the NFL disrespected a godly work of art.
“Go ahead remove my dislike again,” one impassioned fan commented in reference to YouTube. “I’ll just come back the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day.”
We we were promised Sweet Victory, but “all we got was cheapy the cheapskate.”