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Maroon 5 singing SpongeBob at Super Bowl looking more and more likely

A news anchor catches a glimpse of a SpongeBob clip while Maroon 5 rehearses.

Will Super Bowl LIII be the best day ever for SpongeBob SquarePants fans? 

Stephen Hillenburg, who created the animated sponge, died in November. Ever since, fans have been urging Super Bowl organizers and halftime entertainers Maroon 5 to honor Hillenburg's character at the upcoming game.

And with the game just days away, that seems more and more likely to happen.

On Jan. 30, Jamal N. Williams, anchor at Chattanooga, Tennessee's WDEF-TV, tweeted out a glimpse of Maroon 5 rehearsing for the Super Bowl halftime show at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

And what's that on the huge screen? It appears to be SpongeBob himself, likely in a clip from the season 2 episode where he performs at Bikini Bottom's version of the Super Bowl. 

CNET has reached out to Williams for comment. online petition asking that the SpongeBob song Sweet Victory be performed at the halftime show has earned more than 1.1 million signatures. Why this song? In the season 2 episode where it appears, SpongeBob performs the song with a marching band at the Bubble Bowl, his universe's equivalent of the Super Bowl. He really belts it out, too, true power-ballad style.

A representative for Maroon 5 did not respond to a request for comment. But there's other evidence in addition to Williams' tweet. On Jan. 13, the band tweeted out a Super Bowl-themed hype video, and SpongeBob makes an appearance.

More evidence that the Super Bowl might have a spongy influence: Numerous sites have shared what appears to be a series of Facebook posts from Rodger Bumpass, who voices Squidward on the show, announcing that Squidward will introduce the halftime show. Bumpass' posts aren't public, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Super Bowl airs Sunday, Feb. 3 on CBS (CNET is owned by CBS.)

First published Jan. 29 at 11:57 a.m. PT.
Update on Feb. 1 at 12:16 p.m. PT: Adds Jamal N. Williams' tweet.

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