• Camron Davis

'Spongebob' fans outraged at halftime show tease

When the famous kids show "Spongebob Squarepants" aired its "Band Geeks" episode on Sept. 7, 2001, it instantly became a hit. The episode begins with Squidward Tentacles being challenged to perform at the upcoming "Bubble Bowl," to which he eagerly agrees.

Things quickly become more challenging, after multiple attempts to get the cast of characters to learn how to march and play instruments with no success.

The episode ends with a very nervous Squidward, with almost no hope of success, preparing to conduct the group. In a moment of surprise to both the viewer and Squidward himself, the band pulls together to perform the fan favorite song "Sweet Victory."

On Nov. 26, 2018, Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of "Spongebob" died due to complications from ALS at 57. When fans received the heartbreaking news, they thought the best way to pay tribute to Hillenburg would be for the Super Bowl LIII Half-time show to be a performance of "Sweet Victory." This naturally sparked popularity as many fans became vocal about the idea, creating petitions and online debate.

Fans received hope when on December 12, the Mercedes Benz Stadium, the location that hosted this year's Super Bowl, tweeted a GIF from the "Band Geeks" episode of a very exhilarated Spongebob dancing in marching band attire. This led many fans to believe that their hopes of a nostalgic half-time show would finally become a reality.

Fast forward to February 3, 2019, the day of the Super Bowl, and many fans were eagerly waiting for half-time so that they could finally see their dreams come true.

The show began with Adam Levine playing guitar before the lights switched to red and viewers were greeted with an animation of Squidward saying, "And now a true musical genius who needs no introduction." The opening trumpets of "Sweet Victory" began to play, but the song was abruptly cut as Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode" began to play with him out on stage rapping behind the music.

This caused massive online outrage with many fans expressing anger towards the NFL. Memes regarding the incident quickly began circling the front pages of internet sites Reddit and Twitter. The Mercedes Benz Stadium then tweeted a video of an empty stadium with the famous scene playing on all of the screens, but even this was not enough for fans.

Many twitter users responded to the tweet with memes such as an image of a tombstone with the words "Here Lies Squidward's Hopes and Dreams" from one of the episodes.

The NFL's official YouTube Channel posted the half-time show, and at the time of this writing, has over 1.5 million views with 35 thousand likes and 268 thousand dislikes.