News and Commentary

SpongeBob ‘Sweet Victory’ Super Bowl Petition Snags 1 Million Signatures And Counting

In March of 2017, Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” announced that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

According to the ALS Society, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a “progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.”

After revealing his diagnosis, Hillenburg released the following statement:

Anyone who knows me knows that I will continue to work on SpongeBob SquarePants and my other passions for as long as I am able. My family and I are grateful for the outpouring of love and support. We ask that our sincere request for privacy be honored during this time.

On November 26, 2018, Hillenburg passed away.

Just one day later, a petition to have the song “Sweet Victory” sung at the 2019 Super Bowl was started by 18-year-old Isreal Colunga.

“Sweet Victory,” a rock and roll power ballad written by David Glen Eisley and Bob Kulik, and performed by Eisley, was featured in what is widely regarded as one of the best episodes of “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

In the 2001 episode, titled “Band Geeks,” eternally annoyed neighbor Squidward Tentacles recruits SpongeBob and numerous other Bikini Bottom characters to perform at the “Bubble Bowl” after having lied to his rival, Squilliam, telling him that he was a band leader.

After repeated and spectacular failures during rehearsal, Squidward gives up and walks away defeated. The day of the Bubble Bowl, SpongeBob and the band show up and perform “Sweet Victory,” surprising Squidward and everyone else.

For the millions of people who grew up watching “SpongeBob SquarePants,” this episode and the song “Sweet Victory” are iconic.

Here’s the clip from “Band Geeks” in which the song is performed:

Colunga’s petition states:

As some of you may or may not know, Stephen Hillenburg—the creator of Spongebob Sqaurepants—has passed away recently. As a tribute to his legacy, his contributions to a generation of children, and to truly showcase the greatness of this song, we call for Sweet Victory to be performed at the Halftime Show.

Approximately four weeks after the petition began, it crossed a major milestone — 1,000,000 signatures. The movement has gained enough momentum to be noticed by Eisley and Kulik, who recently spoke with Paste about it.

Even Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is hosting the 2019 Super Bowl, tweeted out a gif of SpongeBob and company getting ready for the Bubble Bowl:

As of publication, Maroon 5 is reportedly slated to perform at the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show. At least one other performer, Travis Scott, is said to be in talks to perform as well.

The once-coveted performance opportunity, generally viewed by more than 100 million Americans, has run into roadblocks this year as multiple performers have allegedly turned down requests to perform out of solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The question on every SpongeBob fan’s mind is this: Will these roadblocks create a vacuum that could be filled by a “Sweet Victory”? The timing couldn’t be better.