AFC North: Who Dat

Who owns 'Who Dey'?

February, 1, 2010
The NFL and New Orleans Saints are in the middle of an interesting legal battle for the past week on who owns the trademark to “Who Dat?” The Saints claim it's their slogan, while the league believes its use falls under the NFL shield.

Would the same thing happen to the Cincinnati Bengals?

Cincinnati made the playoffs this season but fell short of the Super Bowl. But if the Bengals did make it to the big game, the "Who Dey" slogan similarly would be everywhere on T-shirts and other merchandise.

Last week we went into the history of both chants for the Saints and Bengals, and it's clear that the NFL did not invent either term. Still, the league says it wants to stop any use of the slogan when it's in conjunction with the Saints' NFL logo.

In all likelihood the NFL and New Orleans soon will reach a final ruling on the "Who Dat?" slogan. That should set a precedent for the Bengals and their trademark rights to "Who Dey" in the future.

Are Saints copying the Bengals?

January, 25, 2010
Although it hasn't been discussed much recently, Cincinnati Bengals fans know there's a longstanding debate on who originated the "Who Dey" chant and the "Who Dat?" chant of the New Orleans Saints.

The disagreement will be jumpstarted once again over the next two weeks as the nation will hear plenty of "Who Dat?" chants from the Saints leading up to the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

Football fans in Cincinnati believe their slogan came first, while fans in New Orleans disagree.

In a way, they're both right.

Let's examine the histories.

During the 1980 season, Bengals fans were the first group in the NFL to chant "Who dey! Who dey! Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?" Three years later in 1983, the Saints chanted "Who Dat? Who dat say they gonna beat dem Saints?" It was originally based on entertainment skits that were later picked up in the 1960s by schools in New Orleans and, eventually, the Saints.

So did the Saints copy Cincinnati or simply continued a tradition from their own city? Those who follow the Bengals say it’s the former, while Saints fans believe it's the latter.

Who's correct?