Photo of New Orleans Saints fans celebrating on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The chant "Who Dat" has been in circulation throughout the Southern United States for many years, some say even before New Orleans had an NFL franchise (1967). Many people reference the two words in poems, minstrel shows and even on an old jazz record. Others reference St. Augustine High School, LSU and Alcorn State University as the true creators. After all, that's how people in places like Louisiana talk, right? However, the most widely accepted time frame for the chant's creation was in October of 1983 following a loss to the San Francisco 49ers

So which fan base came up with their version of the "Who" chant first? New Orleans Saints fans or Cincinnati Bengals fans? As it turns out, Cincinnati Bengals fans were the first when they created "Who Dey" in November of 1981 following their victory vs. the San Diego Chargers. Nevertheless, how the "Who Dat" chant came to fruition has a neat story in itself. Unlike, the Cincinnati Bengals who cannot trace their chant to any one person, the Who Dat chant can be referenced back to New Orleans Saints super fans Steve and Sal Monistere. 

The Ministere brothers were fans during a time period when the Saints were once referred to as "The Aint's". Things started looking up, however, when Bum Phillips, late father of Wade Phillips, took the reigns as the Saints' head coach in 1981. Bum was very vibrant and upbeat. Steve had heard the chant at the Superdome earlier in the 1983 season and decided he wanted to do something with the chant that the entire city would love. So he went into his recording studio on Bienville Street in New Orleans and went to work on a new song. Accompanying Steve was popular recording artist Aaron Neville, drummer Carlo Nuccio and five Saints players; Dave Waymer, Brad Edelman, John Hill, Reggie Lewis and Louis Oubre. Together, they created a cover to the Saints fight song "When the Saints go Marching in" and incorporated "Who Dat" into the lyrics. After the song was recorded in a 45, Steve Monistere and his brother Sal trademarked the phrase and formed Who Dat, Inc. A music video soon followed and can be seen below. 

Afterward, the Monistere brothers applied a pretty intelligent marketing campaign by creating "Who Dat" flash cards to be used in the Superdome. They also had a quarter million "Who Dat" bumper stickers created and distributed them to retailers throughout New Orleans. It didn't take long for the Monistere Brother's efforts to go viral. 

As if the rivalry with Cincinnati Bengals fans over the phrase wasn't enough, in January 2010, the National Football League actually entered a legal battle with Who Dat, Inc. The NFL was claiming that they owned the rights to the phrase. Both parties finally agreed to co-brand the phrase "Who Dat" in October, 2012. The claims and disputes haven't stopped there. Former Saints player Bobby Hebert, now a sports commentator, claims that the term 'Who Dat Nation" originated on his radio show in 2006 following a Saints vs. Dallas Cowboys game. New Orleans Saints fans, however, know that Who Dat Nation has around for much longer.

If anyone is interested in purchasing merchandise from Who Dat, Inc., they can at Geaux Saints! 


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