The New England Patriots are going head to head with the LA Rams at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta today for the Super Bowl LIII, to the excitement of sports fans all over the country. But the Super Bowl isn't all about football — the halftime show is also an important part of the Super Bowl Sunday festivities each year. In the past, famous names like Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, and Diana Ross have graced the Super Bowl stage with stellar performances, and this year Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi followed in the footsteps of these Super Bowl greats. But despite the big expectations, the overall response was... mixed. These tweets about Maroon 5 and Travis Scott's Super Bowl halftime show are kind of all over the place, showing people are torn about the performances.
Besides the performers, there are a couple other factoids we know about the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show. Timewise, the show clocked in at about average and lasted about 13 minutes, as many performances have in the past. Several celebrities turned down invitations to perform this year like Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Cardi B, who told the Associated Press that she declined to perform in solidarity with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the kneeling protests against police brutality during the national anthem in 2016, and has not been signed to a team since 2017. Fans of SpongeBob Squarepants tried their best to get the SpongeBob SquarePants song "Sweet Victory" featured on the halftime show after the show's creator Stephen Hillenburg died recently due to ALS, but it didn't happen. However, there was just a short homage to the cartoon sponge to the chagrin (or pleasure) of many fans.
Many viewers had already formed an opinion about the Super Bowl halftime show ahead of the game. Author Raymond Arroyo tweeted, "I fully expect the musicians at the #SuperBowl Halftime show to offer some staged solidarity with Colin Kapernick (sic). You'll have to tell me what happens. I'll be at the #BoycottBowl."
Another person, Twitter user @valrugs, speculated what Maroon 5 song would be mashed up with Scott's "Sicko Mode." The options were: "This Love," "Moves Like Jagger," and "She Will Be Loved."
Others, like Twitter user @thacondition, were just excited for the performance.
Though fans have had a multitude of different opinions leading up to the Super Bowl, on the day of the big game, people were... yeah, OK, still very mixed.
As noted before, this year's Super Bowl halftime show was not without controversy. When Kaepernick decided he would no longer stand for the national anthem to protest racial injustice and unarmed shootings of Black Americans, the NFL flip-flopped between supporting its players that protested and fining them if they knelt. When Rihanna was reportedly offered the headlining spot for the 2019 Super Bowl, a source told Us Weekly that she denied it because she doesn't agree with the NFL's stance on players protesting. In May 2018, the NFL changed its policy regarding the national anthem, and expressly forbade players from sitting or kneeling during the anthem. However, players were no longer required to be on the field, and could choose to remain in the locker room during the anthem.
When rumors circulated that Maroon 5 was headlining instead, over 100,000 people signed a Change.org petition calling on the group to drop out. The petition says, "The band has a chance to stand on the right side of history." In response, Maroon 5's front man Adam Levine told Entertainment Tonight that he didn't mind the controversy and added, "We expected it. We'd like to move on from it."
None of the performers addressed the controversy during the halftime show. What to ultimately think of the show... well, that's a matter of opinion. Twitter, at least, can't quite come to an agreement.