Who Dat Vs. Who Dey Much More Than A Football Game
By Keith Null
Most fans of the NFL would recognize the chant of “Who Dat” as the Saints fans war cry of sorts and if your were to tune in, or attend, a game you would certainly hear “Who dat, Who dat, Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints?!”.
The chant has become an iconic piece of the Saints franchise lore and has soared in popularity after their Super Bowl XLIV championship in 2009.
In fact it has now become a pre game ritual for a member of the Saints team to lead fans in the Who Dat chant, which was started by quarterback Drew Brees before their opening game against the Vikings, a not so good video linked here.
There are also many variation’s of Who dat — Boo dat, Drink dat, Screw dat, Trew dat, Knew dat — but my favorite has to be the saying “Who dat, We dat, Two dat, Bet dat!”
A saying that pays omage to the Super Bowl win and eventual repeat title of course.
New Orleans (8-3) is set to face the Cincinnati Bengals (2-8) this Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Saints are playing to remain in contention for the NFC South while the Bengals are playing for a little self respect.
Cincinnati’s war cry is eerily similar to that of the Saints, “Who dey, Who dey, Who dey think gonna beat them Bengals?!”, fueling a long standing argument of just who came up with the phrase first.
This topic on who started it has been debated for some time and if you were to search Wikipedia or Answers.com for the origins of each you will find conflicting information on both.
Toni Monkovic of The New York Times did some investigation on his own about the controversy during the 2009 season. At that time the Bengals were playing well, as were the Saints, so the thought was there may be a “Who Dat – Who Dey” Super Bowl.
"So after looking into it, here’s what we think we know:The phrase was widely used by Bengals fans in 1981.The phrase was widely used by Saints fans in 1983.A variation of the phrase was used by some Louisiana high schools and colleges in the 1970s and seems to have been used by some Saints fans in the late 1970s (probably a small number, and possibly a very small number). Is it possible that it was then copied and adapted by Bengals fans? Not clear. Did the popularity of the Bengals’ chant in 1981 lead to the wider adoption of the Saints’ saying in 1983? This seems likely, but also is not clear. — Excerpt taken from the above referenced article by Toni Monkovic"
So the earliest one can go back to as reference for the use of a “Who” chant is the late 70’s by Saints fans and even farther back by local high schools and colleges in the state, definitive proof that the phrase originates in New Orleans and not Cincinnati.
Come game time Sunday whether your at the game or watching it on television sport your Who Dat gear and scream at the top of your lungs “Who dat, Who dat, Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints?!”.
Because who dat came from we dat not who dey and dat’s dat!
Are you a Saints or Bengals fan that has direct knowledge of the Who dat/Who dey controversy? If so leave a comment and tell us why you think your team deserves the credit.
Check out Keith Null’s weekly article about the Saints on NFL.com by clicking here.
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