I’ve got two main frustrations at this year’s Super Bowl: one funny and the other serious.
First, it was speculated Maroon 5 was going to play “Sweet Victory” as a tribute to the late Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of Spongebob, during their halftime performance, only for us to get fooled by Travis Scott instead of the Bikini Bottom Super Band. And second, that the New England Patriots were yet again playing in the Super Bowl and have now tied the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Vince Lombardi trophies at six.
It’s probably because of where I grew up – like the start of most sports loves – that I can’t stand the Patriots. I’ve lived just outside of Pittsburgh all of my life, so my Pittsburgh sports pride runs deep. The Steelers have been able to hold onto their title of most Super Bowl Championships for ten years, with 2009 being their most recent Super Bowl win, but the Patriots have just evened up the score. Let me just say that I’m glad I wasn’t in Pittsburgh during the Patriots win.
The Patriots play in the AFC East and have clinched the title of AFC Champions for 10 consecutive years. In the AFC East, alongside the Patriots, are the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Only the Dolphins were able to narrowly escape with a 34-33 win over the patriots once throughout this past season. All of the rest of the wins the Patriots had against their competition in the AFC East were by margins of 12 or more – even going as high as defeating the Dolphins by 31 the second time around. This division makes it easy for the Patriots to make it into the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
With the Steelers’ troubles on and off the field, it’s hard to imagine that they will be viable competition next year, especially if the Steelers lose Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. This past season was lackluster for most of the Steelers’ fanbase, as they seemed to just let the season get away from them.
The Steelers also appear to be making major changes behind the scenes, including coaching changes. It’s clear that the Steelers need to start training or finding a new quarterback and kicker to begin rebuilding the team.
In a low-scoring and low-stakes game like this, the Super Bowl halftime show was truthfully the only thing I was looking forward to during the game. I have been a fan of Spongebob since I was a young child and, even now, have mostly stayed up to date on the latest Spongebob episodes (although I can’t quote them as well as the originals).
The “Band Geeks” episode is perhaps one of the most iconic episodes for two reasons: one, for The Bikini Bottom Super Band’s portrayal of “Sweet Victory” at the Bubble Bowl, and for the line: “No Patrick, mayonnaise is not an instrument.”
Because of its iconic image, when a petition went viral asking for “Sweet Victory” to be played at the Super Bowl as a tribute to Stephen Hillenburg after his passing in late 2018, it seemed like there could be no way that Maroon 5 wouldn’t play at least a portion of the song during their halftime set.
When it came time for the halftime performance and Squidward came on screen to indicate the start of “Sweet Victory,” it seemed like every fan’s dream was coming true. Instead, we got Travis Scott “rocketing” into the set where he started playing “SICKO MODE.”
I was at Station One during the Super Bowl and nearly all of the bar was confused on the inclusion of Travis Scott into the set, especially after being promised by Maroon 5 earlier in the day that they were going to include the Spongebob tribute.
Even as the show progressed, we held onto hope that Maroon 5 was just getting us hyped early to end their performance with “Sweet Victory,” but alas, the show only ended with Adam Levine taking off his shirt (the only admirable thing about this was the quality of his tattoos).
When the game came to an end, with the Patriots as the Super Bowl Champions, I still can only think about the game’s lack of “Sweet Victory.”