Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, recently passed away. He was battling with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease he got diagnosed with only a year prior his death. During his initial diagnosis, Hillenburg promised to continue his work on SpongeBob as long as possible. But on November 26, 2018, Hillenburg succumbed to the incurable disease, dying unexpectedly at only 57 years old. As a response to his passing, fans of his beloved animated series want to pay tribute by petitioning to have the song “Sweet Victory” from the 2001 episode “Band Geeks” performed at the next Super Bowl halftime show.
In “Band Geek” (Season 2, Ep. 14 for those planning to watch on Netflix), Squidward desperately attempts to impress his rival Squilliam by recruiting a band to play at the Bubble Bowl. The band that Squidward gathered unfortunately proved incompetent and he’s convinced he’ll be completely embarrassed. In the end the band managed to pull through by performing a surprisingly epic 80’s style rock anthem entitled “Sweet Victory”. The song was sung by SpongeBob Squarepants in the episode but it was musician David Glen Eisley whose voice was used. The episode featured many memorable moments from Patrick Star asking if “mayonnaise was an instrument” to the epic song heard in the end. Fans of SpongeBob SquarePants thought it was a very impactful episode and even consider it as the best episode of the series.
After the news of Hillenburg’s death, a Change.org petition was posted online asking the National Football League (NFL) to have “Sweet Victory” performed at the next Super Bowl halftime show. 800,000 people have currently signed the petition asking to honor Hillenburg, his legacy and his “contributions to a generation of children”.
Unfortunately, Maroon 5 are thought to have been booked to headline the next Super Bowl halftime show. But no official announcement has been made and the NFL itself hasn’t responded to this particular request. CBS will be broadcasting the Super Bowl on February 3. 2019. Many fans have high hopes that NFL could actually play Sweet Victory as Nickelodeon and CBS are corporate siblings.