‘Who dat’ phrase still being sold locally

Published 11:57 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2010

VIDALIA — Despite a cease and desist order from the National Football League, local vendors don’t seem to be facing much hassle selling shirts with the phrase, “Who Dat?” on them.

A traditional cheer of the New Orleans Saints, the NFL claims it owns the phrase, and any merchandise sold with the wording alongside the Saints or NFL logo must be officially licensed by the NFL.

Louisiana Democrats fired back last Sunday, urging Gov. Bobby Jindal to allow a state lawsuit to be filed over the rights of the phrase, and local printing companies are siding with them.

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Mary Elliott, a graphic designer for Rhino Graphics in Vidalia, said her company hasn’t been contracted by anyone and ordered to stop selling “Who Dat” merchandise.

“I think the NFL doing that cease and desist order, it’s helped retailers all the more,” Elliott said. “They want that slogan all the more for that reason.”

Josh Welch, a salesman at Hometown Sports, said nobody has talked to him directly about selling “Who Dat” merchandise either.

“We have heard about some of our suppliers being contacted, but we still have merchandise coming in,” Welch said.

And he added that he doesn’t plan to stop selling it, even if asked.

“They’ll have to sue us,” he said. “The way they explained it, though, they’re just trying to protect people that sell authenticated Saints stuff. It will all go away after the Super Bowl.

“Louisiana has never won a major title in (a pro sport), and when they’re about to, the state gets behind them. The NFL should realize that. If they didn’t, they do now.”