OPINION: SpongeBob and the world’s most boring Super Bowl


Scott Rainey

Scott Rainey

In case you missed it, this year’s Super Bowl was one wildly boring event. After the first half, I was hoping that the Super Bowl Halftime Show would spark some life into what was a dull experience thus far.

I was wondering why the NFL chose Maroon 5 to be the halftime show, as I think they’re a good band but not particularly interesting or challenging. There was a glimmer of hope that they’d put on an excellent halftime performance after a petition circulated the internet asking for the NFL to allow “Sweet Victory” to play at the halftime show.

This song, originally written by David Glen Eisley, was featured in a Spongebob episode called “Band Geeks.” The citizens of Bikini Bottom got their act together after Squidward lambasted them for their poor performance and performed the song in the Bubble Bowl. This reduced Squidward to tears as he momentarily defeated his arch rival, Squilliam Fancyson.

So, what’s with all the hoopla? Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob, died of ALS in November. Fans of the show wanted him to be honored at the Super Bowl by playing Eisley’s song, “Sweet Victory.” It would’ve been incredible if Maroon 5 either played the song or they at least showed a video of the performance to pay respects to the late founder.

The NFL didn’t have to do this at all. They could have totally ignored it. Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi could have ignored it as well. Travis gave a nod to Spongebob as a lead in to his performance, but it left a lot to be desired. I thought we were getting it. I thought we were getting the full performance. But no, it was just Squidward saying a few words and then horns playing from the “Band Geeks” episode, followed by Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.”

What a shame. It was out of context, Hillenburg wasn’t mentioned, and it essentially captured the mood of the halftime show and the game overall: underwhelming and boring.

You know who DID decide to play “Sweet Victory”? Dallas, Texas, at a Dallas Stars game. They played the entire final scene from that episode on their Jumbotron. The characters in the show wore bright green, the Stars’ primary uniform color. They showed Stars fans cheering along as the song played, just like the scene in the episode. It was excellent and everyone should immediately go watch it.

This is yet another reason why hockey is the greatest sport in the world. They had the audacity to play “Sweet Victory” and pay their respects to Hillenburg. They knew the Super Bowl and the NFL wouldn’t do it justice.

I wish I could say I was surprised, but it’s not too shocking that they basically did the bare minimum. They could’ve omitted it completely, but they decided to add a small piece instead. I would have rather taken nothing, because it piqued my curiosity and had me waiting through the entire performance for more Spongebob references or for the song itself, but no. It wasn’t to be.

Scott Rainey is columnist. Contact him at [email protected]