Reports surfaced last week that the cartoon cephalopod might appear after droves of fans pushed for the animated series to be included in the halftime show in some way.
"To all Spongebob fans!!! Tune into the Super Bowl because Squidward gets to introduce the halftime entertainment!!!!" Squidward voice actor Rodger Bumpass reportedly wrote in a post on his private Facebook page.
When subsequently reached out to for comment, Bumpass refused to provide any information, but other outlets noted that it was confirmed the series was being included.
"We are incredibly saddened by the news that Steve Hillenburg has passed away following a battle with ALS," a statement from Nickelodeon announcing Hillenberg's passing read. "He was a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family. Steve imbued SpongeBob SquarePants with a unique sense of humor and innocence that has brought joy to generations of kids and families everywhere. His utterly original characters and the world of Bikini Bottom will long stand as a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the limitless power of imagination."
Fans immediately began expressing a desire to see the show's "Sweet Victory" — a sports song written specifically for an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants — performed at the Super Bowl.
A Change.org petition surfaced, asked people sign the request to "have 'Sweet Victory' performed at the Super Bowl." To date, the petition has 1,196,444 signatures.0comments
"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," a description of the petition reads.
While the petition did not reach its goal of "1,500,000" signatures, it seems that it made just enough of a splash to get the beloved cartoon included in the big show.