Well the first sighting of the fever was right before the Superbowl, in January 2010 when "In an e-mail, league spokesman Brian McCarthy said the NFL had sent a handful of letters in the past year asking vendors to stop selling "Who Dat" merchandise. The unlicensed shirts led fans to believe the Saints endorsed the product, he said."
The fans of the Who Dat Nation were shocked to hear that the NFL owned "Who Dat" and two members of Louisiana's congressional delegation -- Republican Sen. David Vitter and Democratic congressman Charlie Melancon -- took public umbrage at the NFL. Vitter wrote NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, urging the league to concede that "Who Dat" is in the public domain. Otherwise, Vitter said he will print and sell T-shirts with "WHO DAT say we can't print Who Dat!" on them. "Please either drop your present ridiculous position or sue me," Vitter wrote.
NFL vice president Jeffery Miller told Vitter in a letter that the league is narrowly targeting Who Dat products "only when those products contain or are advertised using other trademarks or identifiers of the Saints."
The phrase is so dear to Louisianians that Gov. Bobby Jindal has asked the state attorney general to look into a possible lawsuit regarding the ownership rights. Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin said the governor's executive counsel contacted state attorney general Buddy Caldwell's office.
After an embarrassing public backlash, the NFL backed off the claim, and the state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell made a press release stating that "Who Dat" was once again part of the public domain.
And so all the Who Dat's were happy again..... Well so they thought!
In March of 2010 Who Dat? Inc. claims the New Orleans Saints and NFL Properties are taking a free ride on 25 years of Who Dat's hard work promoting the trademarked phrase, "Who Dat?" The two brothers who run Who Dat? say they coined the phrase in 1983 as a Saints battle cry, and now the Saints and the NFL are unfairly cashing in on it.
"Simply put, they are big Saints fans and are the proud founding members of the 'Who Dat Nation!'" With the help of his friend Carlo Nuccio, Monistere says he created Who Dat? Inc. and trademarked the phrase "Who Dat?" in 1983. Who Dat? Inc. also produced the original Who Dat? song featuring Aaron Neville and a handful of Saints players, according to the complaint. At that point, "Who Dat Nation" was born and "Who Dat? Inc. was living the dream," the complaint states.
Which brings us to today, the end of April and guess what now the NFL has started to fight back! Now, NFL Properties and the Saints not only have denied the company's allegations — but say Who Dat? Inc. has violated their trademarks.
It seems that we will have to wait until the court says that "Who Dat" is public domain but I would as you a few questions about the guys from Texas, the Monistere Brothers that is. Yes they did make a song in 1983 but where have they been the past 20 years ??
Steve Monistere did make one statement that I agree with 100 % "Who Dat transcends the Saints, it transcends football," Monistere said. Who Dat is New Orleans. The Fleur de lis is New Orleans. Experts from the intellectual property industry and numerous attorneys agree on this." This was taken from http://www.neworleans.com/community/cityvoices/317384-who-dat-say-who-can-use-who-dat-trademark-holder-speaks-out.html
As far as the Monistere brother being the founders of the "Who Dat Nation" I think we all can agree on this, they are not the founders and jumped on the "Who Dat Nation" bandwagon after it was made a house hold term from WWL's Bobby Hebert and of course WhoDatNation.com which has been helping brand the phrase since 2006.
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The chant of "Who Dat?" was first seen in minstrel shows and vaudeville acts in the early 1900s. It was later adopted by jazz performers and big bands. The phrase was often used in a racist context in minstrel shows by having blackfaced actors muttering, "Who Dat? Who Dat?" when they encountered a ghost.
The phrase was also used by fighter squadron pilots in World War II. On longer missions, pilots needed a way to combat the loneliness, so someone would key their mic and say "Who Dat?". Then a reply of "Who dat who dat?" and so on.
Today, "who dat" has become a favorite cheer of sports fans, mainly the New Orleans Saints. Although they were arguably not the first team whose fans used the cheer, they are the team that are most closely associated with the phrase today. At almost every Saints game, you'll hear, "Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints? Who dat? Who dat?"