OK, if you’re a Saints fan you will be mad about this. If you’re from New Orleans you’ll be even more mad. I waited all week to post about this because I thought I could incorporate my Friday music and who’d of thunk but it’s fitting for the Who Dat controversy and New Orleans.
Evidently, since the Saints won the NFC and their right to participate in the Superbowl this weekend, the NFL has ordered a cease and desist on all paraphernalia made for sale with “Who Dat?” on it — the chant of Saints’ fans. They are claiming marketplace rights to the slogan. Huh? Wow, is this greed in full exposure or what?
Ever since the Saints became popular, the fans have cheered, “Who Dat?” referring to “Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? Who dat? Who dat?” and the phrase has been widely associated with the Saints. It was used long before now, however. It’s typical N’awlins slang for “who’s that” and yes, some folks actually talk this way in New Orleans, known as “Yats” but most folks there do not say “N’awlins” — only the stereotype characters in movies. We don’t drink mint juleps on our veranda either; yet, I have juleps in the summer on mine. The actual native pronunciation of New Orleans is closer to “Nu Orlins.” New Orleanians have had a penchant for mispronouncing many things like street names and “you all” becomes “y’all” even when speaking to an individual and not a group. (Sometimes I have to correct myself saying this.) But the “Who Dat” has been around even before this the Saints’ recent win. It was chanted in 80′s and made popular by Aaron Neville and as Senator David Vitter says, was probably used even in minstrels over 130 years ago. I have to give him credit for sicking it to the NFL for their silly and preposterous claim. He’s sending the NFL notices that say drop the “Who Dat” claim or sue me. He’s printing shirts that say “WHO DAT say we can’t print Who Dat!” Don’t you hear a song with that…..?
Having just gone through our long, over-a-year-due trademark approval for Casart™ coverings, I can proudly say we are fully registered; although, the ™ looks better than the ® symbol, so we may just keep it — at least until we run out of business cards. I learned a lot about trademarks and marketplace rights in the process. Even if I didn’t register the rights to casart with the PTO (Patent and Trade Office), I still could claim first use rights, as I was the first one documented to use it in the marketplace with my decorative painting services, which I started in 1992, wow 18 years ago! The official trademark and registration (PTO review and approval) just further protects my business because it’s gone through a legal, vetting process. Where’s the NFL’s filing and “statement of use” and proof that they used it first in the marketplace? It is without a doubt public domain, used by the fans, not even the Saints hold claim to it. Just because the NFL filed, btw, doesn’t mean they have the trademark. It has to be approved first. Here’s our official black and gold Casart coverings tribute to the Saints.
Go sit on a football NFL and watch this to Kick Start Your Weekend. Go Saints! Even if we don’t win, everyone associated with New Orleans is just so ecstatic that we’ve come this far.
Aaron Neville and the Topcats from 1980′s:
And despite the controversy, this is a truthful and moving video to remember why this is so important to New Orleans, The Saints are a symbolic “reflection of the city’s rising:”
The Soul of New Orleans: