Here we go again with some true confessions. I had never heard of the phrase 'til this year.
"Who dat" was tweeted several times by someone I follow, and know and well he used to play football for the New Orleans Saints. I saw the #WhoDat in his tweets, but just thought it was a clever #hashtag and sort of paid little mind to it. Wow, little did I know.
Seems the phrase is an English idiom [ remind me to look that word up ] originating from over a century ago. Well, that's if you believe what's written about the phrase on Wikipedia. You know that Wiki sources are not always reliable, but they sure do serve an amazing purpose when it comes to getting a quick summary on something you are unfamiliar about.
So according to Wikipedia, the chant "Who Dat?" originated in minstrel shows and vaudeville acts of the late 19th Century and apparently there's some song about a chicken that includes the lyrics, "Who Dat Say Chicken in dis Crowd?" Wikipedia also included information about how the phrase was a common tag "in the days of Negro minstrel shows" and well I'm on my way to thinking there's got to be some sort of lawsuit that might be 'out there' since heaven forbid we have anything that might blemish our history, that we can't deal with as part of exactly that. The living and learning and mistakes we have made.
Well, since this site is about sports, and I began the article by including a song about New Orleans, I'm going to fast forward to the part that shares about how the phrase became associated with the Saints. Cause that's what you really want to know, right?
Well it appears that there is a little bit of controversy surrounding which team's fans first started the chant. Again, according to Wikipedia, Southern University and several other schools in Louisiana might have had fans cheering the chant, while rooting for their teams. "In 1983, the New Orleans Saints organization officially adopted it during the tenure of coach Bum Phillips [RIP] . Musicians also played a role in helping the chant become popular when they included the chant in a revised version of, "When the Saints Go Marching In." After that it seems things got a bit crazy the National Football League sent several cease and desist letters to several Louisiana t-shirt shop owners ordering t-shirts bearing the phrase, "Who dat", to stop selling t-shirts. Wow, and you thought it was just a simple little phrase. Nope!
What's written on a t-shirt is very, very important. In fact, in my opinion it's messages on apparel are perhaps one of the greatest ways to communicate your message. Perhaps you know that about me, as I very often suggest in a tweet, #ReadMyShirt, and it works.
Want to know what happened with the lawsuit? Do you think the NFL had any right to sue? Well of course, having a right to sue, and actually being right under the law are two different things. What do you think? If you were the owner of the t-shirt company, would you stop printing t-shirts that say, "Who Dat"? I sure hope not. To be continued ... I'm just waking up!