Before the New Orleans Saints take on the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV (which is 44, incase you’re wondering), Saints fans are taking on the NFL itself.
What’s the issue? Who owns "Who Dat?"
At least, that’s what certain people are trying to make you think is the issue.
Before we go any further, here’s the background: Since the team was first founded in the mid-1960s, Saints fans have been known for a chant that goes “Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints.” At some point, fans got lazy and shortened the chant to “Who Dat?”
Now, to the issue:
The Saints are very popular with the people of New Orleans…like very popular. From what I can gather, if you took the Oilers during the ’06 Cup run and multiplied Edmonton’s excitement by two, you might be even with the level of popularity of the Saints in New Orleans (at least, that’s how the talking heads on football TV make it sound anytime they discuss this topic).
With that kind of popularity comes big time merchandise sales, and when the team in question has a wildly popular catch phrase – it winds up on a lot of t-shirts and the like.
Enter the NFL.
The league has handed out a bunch of cease and desist letters to several T-shirt makers in New Orleans who have been making “Who Dat?” shirts, some featuring Saints trademarks.
According to the NFL, they are trying to “protect local businesses that are selling legitimate Saints merchandise,” with the move, but the people on the other end of this dispute don’t see it that way.
Here’s what I make of this whole thing:
It seems that if you print “Who Dat?” in gold letters on a black shirt, for example, the NFL doesn’t care. If you print “Who Dat?” on top of a Saints logo, the NFL has a problem.
Is it just me, or is that not the painfully obvious and easily avoidable issue right there?
I think if you’re watching a Saints game wearing a “Who Dat?” shirt that doesn’t feature a Saints logo, people around you will know who you are cheering for…but that’s just me.
While we’re on the topic of the upcoming Super Bowl, there appears to have been a changing of the guard when it comes to the most watched sporting event of the year.
The BBC reports that for the first time ever last year, the Champions League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United drew a worldwide audience of 109-million viewers – three million more than Super Bowl XLIII (which is 43, incase you’re wondering).
On a side note, as a display of just how wildly popular football and (American) football are compared to other sports, lets take a look at the numbers:
Champions League Final – 109-million
Super Bowl XLIII – 106-million
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – 54-million
World Athletic Championships 100m Final – 33-million