NFL: Kind, Gentle and Delusional Dictator

JoeSportsFanSenior Analyst IFebruary 4, 2010

When it became clear that there was money to be made off the Saints popular “Who Dat” catch phrase after New Orleans advanced to the 2010 Super Bowl, the NFL began salivating in the corner like a dog near a slab of raw meat.  There was simply no way they were going to stand by and let others profit off of something that has even a hint of a connection to their empire. 

26lvsaints4Continuing their tireless quest to make the NFL the most unliked major sports governing body, Roger Goodell and his minions shipped out the cease and desist letters to the shops around New Orleans that were selling items the NFL claimed violated state and federal trademarks specifically including the words “Who Dat”. 

Presumably the language of the letter was tweaked slightly from the ones they sent a few years back to the churches who were threatening to have Super Bowl parties with TV’s that they considered too large. ###MORE###

Besides the sheer pompousness associated with trying to claim ownership over the phrase “Who Dat”, the most comical aspect of the NFL’s actions is the concept of Goodell and his goons trying to muscle the store owners with threats of action against anything sold that included “any combination of design elements (even if not the subject of a federal or state trademark registration), such as team colors, Roman numerals and other references to the Saints.”

For those keeping track at home, this would mean that the NFL claims to own the rights to:  a numerical system created in ancient Rome (Roman Numerals), a phrase that according to those in the region has been around for upwards of 100 years (Who Dat), a French symbol that dates back to somewhere around the 5th century (Fleur-de-lis) and the color bronze. 

Despite clearly having the power to control all of these historical items, the league showed it’s kind-hearted side when NFL reps backed off their stance, calling the whole incident a “signficant misunderstanding“.  Trust them, it had nothing to do with the city of New Orleans rightly flipping out over the cease and desist letters, the story gaining national attention and Louisiana Senators sending letters to Goodell’s office.  Although we’re assuming that in his otherwise civil response to the Senator’s letter, Goodell made sure to remind him that, as the ruler of the NFL, he has full authority to crush government officials with his bare hands should he choose to do so. 

By our count, there are three significant victories to celebrate here:

1.)  Anytime a group of fans slap down another one of the NFL’s ridiculous witch hunts, it’s a victory for all. 

2.)  This particular win means that awkwardly comical videos of British people saying the phrase “Who Dat” despite having absolutely no clue what it means (I know I still have no clue) can be enjoyed by all without the threat of the NFL literally declaring war on England. 

3.) Maybe the victory for Who Dat Nation will finally put a smile on this sad little male witch’s face…


That or at least motivate him to go out and buy some ChapStick.

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