Not so "Sweet Victory"

default article image“The winner takes all...” Those are the first lyrics of David Glen Eisley and Bob Kulick’s smash-hit rock ballad “Sweet Victory”. Fans of the song including myself, however, felt robbed when the tune was played for fewer seconds than the time it took for the referee to throw the flag in the Rams versus Saints game.

“Sweet Victory” was a gem of nostalgia on Stephen Hillenburg’s television show SpongeBob SquarePants, where the six-limbed artiste with the least talent, Squidward Tentacles, realized his dream of achieving musical fame by conducting the half-time show.

Naturally, when the Twitter page for Mercedes-Benz Stadium posted a GIF of SpongeBob dancing in the episode “Band Geeks”, rumors began to spread that Squidward’s day of glory would resurface in the hands of the NFL. Maroon 5 added fuel to the fire by publishing a short teaser video featuring SpongeBob on their Twitter page.

Would Maroon 5 pay tribute to Eisley and Kulic’s musical achievement? Would the half-time show give fans of football, and fans of being a child if they had the privilege, something to bond over in a moment of remembrance for a passing cartoon legend? Those were some questions we began to ask ourselves as the media began to buzz over the possibility of the rock ballad making a comeback.

Imagine my surprise when, after singer Adam Levine’s guitar solo, the stadium just barely glowed the color red -- the same color as Squidward and Friends’ band uniforms. Imagine my surprise when the Bikini Bottom Super Band appeared on the giant stadium screen...only to be shot down by a meteor containing Travis Scott.

“Sicko Mode” is a foot-stomper in its own right. However, the song does ill-will to “Sweet Victory” by making it fall on its Bikini Bottom. Aside from that explosive impact, his performance felt cumbersome over time. Scott looked out of breath after the beginning of his performance.

Levine seemed to be the only one hopping his way across the stage with Scott and fellow rapper Big Boi, which gave the show some energy.

What it needed were more moments to connect the members of the crowd with each other, and not many people can share a shirt and jacket once it’s tossed into the crowd.

I signed the Change.org petition made to show support for “Sweet Victory’s” reenactment. The NFL not only had an opportunity to pay respects to Hillenburg properly, but it allowed suspicion of a beloved song coming back to fester into critical backlash when “Sicko Mode” overpowered the song.

There has to be more cognizance on behalf of the people managing social media accounts in regard to the responsibility of using nostalgia as an advertisement tool. No amount of half-truths about what to expect in a show is worth the resulting disappointment.

“Sweet Victory” had its moment in the sun, however brief it was. However, if we all want to fit under the term “One Love”, as spelled out by the drone balloons, it would not have hurt to make it feel more inclusive to those who helped create television history.