GALLERY: Who dat? It's the all-knowing NFL

San Diego Newsletter:

Who dat? It’s the all-knowing NFL

There could be a potential legal tussle over whether the NFL and the New Orleans Saints own the trademark rights to the phrase, “Who dat.”
According to a report by New Orleans television station WWL, the NFL has sent cease and desist orders to merchants in New Orleans who are selling merchandise with the slogan “Who dat” on it.

“The NFL is not a company that I want to rock the boat with, but I definitely want to look into it further to see what my rights are,” one shop owner, Lauren Thom, told the TV station. “… They’re telling me not to print any more shirts and to get rid of the inventory that I have because it says the words 'Who dat’ and it has a gold fleur-de-lis on the shirt.”

A league spokesman told the station that “any unauthorized use of the Saints’ colors and other (marks) designed to create the illusion of an affiliation with the Saints is equally a violation of the Saints’ trademark rights.”

I would say, “They’ve got to be kidding” but obviously they aren’t. I don’t know how one can copyright a common phrase – does AT&T now own “Wazzzup!” since their commercials?

I certainly hope one of the merchants who got a cease-and-desist order fights it, I’d like to see how it comes out.

There’s nothing, but nothing, like the greed and avarice one finds with any sports franchise regarding anything that can make them a buck. :mad:

Hot off the press from New Orleans. This is not going over well down here. And, as a local Baton Rouge station pointed out last night, none of the Baton Rouge tee shirt shops have been contacted. I don’t believe this is going to go well for the NFL.

I am a proud member of the Who Dat Nation.

Brotherhrolf, New Orleaneans have been using that term for years, long before the NFL found it, right? I loved the letter from David Vitter. He summed it up well. I have a feeling the good people of NO and its environs will not let this stop them.

There is an editorial in the New Orleans newspaper about the big public relations mistake this is. There was also a note that late yesterday afternoon that the NFL had backed down and will only enforce their trade mark in Florida.

I meant to say yesterday that Baton Rouge tee shirts had not been contacted. And, yes, “Who Dat” goes way back. The Times Picayune also said maybe the NFL should try to trademark other New Orleans colloquialisms like “making groceries” or “ya’Mamma n’em” the list of y’at expressions is fairly extensive.

Come on Hrolf! Even I know that the chant “Who dat?” was started at Grambling.

“Who dat trying to beat our Tigers?”

Beau, never heard Grambling ever mentioned. Times Picayune and all the TV stations say it was St. Augustine High School.

In the sixties, Sports Illustrated cited the stands at Grambling rocking to “Who dat?” And we know how close that is to the Superdome.

Grambling? Isn’t that in East Texas? :smiley: Seriously though, no I never heard that and, like I said, it has never been brought up by the media. I have been to Grambling twice on business and it is out in the country but their football activities are not covered down here.

A friend of mine graduated from Jackson State in 1979. That’s before the present coach at St. Augustine was in college. And he says the cheer began at the high school.

When my friend was in college in the late seventies, at games the Grambling students would ask about opponents “Who dat?”

They’re telling me not to print any more shirts and to get rid of the inventory that I have because it says the words 'Who dat’ and it has a gold fleur-de-lis on the shirt."

The problem is more likely that they’re using the golden Fleur-de-lis (which is likely trademarked as the Saints logo) on the shirts, not the phrase, “who dat.” Team logos are protected trademarks, and while a fleur-de-lis isn’t necessarily a trademark per se, printing it in the Saints colors and with a slogan popularly referring to the team would probably meet the legal standard for trademark infringement.

Fleur de lis are the symbol of New Orleans and are ubiquitous around here. The Baton Rouge police department has a large gold fleur de lis as part of their uniform patches.

I thought it was the symbol of St. Louis. The king, that is.

The paper sack will soon be copyrighted when used as a fan device. :frowning:

Who dat gonna beat dem Saints?

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