Who Stole Dat From Da Saints and Da People?

Hank DeHayContributor IFebruary 8, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints reacts to a missed touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys at Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Everyone knows the story of Hurricane Katrina, and if you don't, prepare to get your heart ripped out.

Katrina was the costliest, top 5 most deadly hurricane in U.S. history, not to mention the 6th strongest overall. It tore the center out of New Orleans, and left people devastated.

Friends, families, pets, memories, valuables, and lives were lost in those tragic waters. The city didn't know what to do, looters took to the street like rats, killers looked for weak victims, and in the process even more lives were lost.

People were crammed like cattle in a train car into the Superdome. Where once again we heard stories of over crowding, a lack of necessary items, and murder. This all happened in August of 2005, but on September 24, 2006, those spectacular Saints took the field that was theirs before it was Katrina's.

Chills went through out not only the packed out stadium, but through television sets and radios through out America. The Saints were not only fighting the Falcons, but also fighting Katrina, the negativity surrounding post-hurricane problems in New Orleans, and fighting for the spirit of NOLA! They fought and fought, and in that same season, the Saints who didn't play a single home game the year before—clinched their third division title and their first NFC South title in franchise history.

For the first time in Saints' history, they clinched their NFC South title on their home field. The season however, ended on a heart-breaking loss to the Chicago Bears in the NFC title game.

Their first game of the next season was against the defending Super Bowl XLI champion Indianapolis Colts. The Saints lost the game and their following next three games. Along that path they also lost their star back Deuce McAllister for the season.

This was not the year they needed, but then came the 2009 season.

They picked up big man Jeremy Shockey and linebacker Jonathan Vilma in the off-season. And when the season started, the Saints did what no one saw coming, they went 13-0 the first 14 weeks of the season!

The Saints who didn't even have a home field four years ago, were now awarded the 1st seed in the NFC and went on to win the NFC title game. But what happened to those fans, who sold out the entire Superdome in its first year after Hurricane Katrina?

They were there, the whole time, cheering on their team, behind them through every loss and every win, cheering "Who dat? WHO DAT?!"

"Who Dat!?" became the chant of the Saints around 1983. The fans loved it and it stuck around through the years.  It belongs to the people of NOLA, especially after all they lost.

Nope, negative, not gonna happen, all of a sudden the NFL decides that it is theirs, not the peoples. They try to say that they (the NFL) have the copyright for "Who Dat?" which actually dates back to vaudeville! Like dancing and singing in the rain! What gives the NFL the right to send cease-and-desist letters.

The people who lost it all, were making money on shirts.  So what should the big man do? Say we own it, stop it, or lose it. Great call big man, but here is the kicker: The law sided with the people of NOLA, not the NFL. The fans of the saints are now able to print up shirts with "Who Dat?" and a fleur-de-lis, but with one exception—no official NFL emblem or anything that resembles it.

Who needs that! The people already know "who dat?" was with Katrina trying to beat those saints, but now it's Peyton Manning and his boys.  But with this city, this state, bu-coos of fans, me, and thousands of others, all I have to say is "Who dat? Who dat?Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?!