Leslie Turk

Who Dat? Buddy Dat!

by Leslie Turk

[UPDATE: The NFL has conceded that it has no ownership of "Who Dat" or the fleur-de-lis, and will only object to black and gold shirts or other merchandise that include "Who Dat" if they are presented as an official Saints or NFL product. "People can use Who Dat all they want if it doesn't inclulde NFL and Saints trademarks," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an e-mail, The Advocate reported this morning.]

ORIGINAL STORY, published Monday, Feb. 1:

At about 6 p.m. today, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell issued a tersely worded statement that could pack a powerful victory punch for the Who Dat Nation. It seems the AG, at the request of Gov. Bobby Jindal, has weighed in on the NFL/Who Dat controversy and may be on the winning side of this contest.

“Pursuant to the constitutional and statutory authority bestowed upon the Attorney General of the state of Louisiana, I have been investigating the issues raised by the National Football League’s claim of potential trademark infringements against local businesses as well as concerns of our citizens regarding potential ownership claims of the NFL to the phrases ‘Who Dat’ or ‘Who Dat Nation’ and/or the fleur-de-lis symbol,” Caldwell writes. “This afternoon I held a conference with the NFL. The NFL has acknowledged that the correspondence sent to several Louisiana retailers is problematic,” he continues.

Caldwell also says the NFL conceded that it has no exclusive ownership rights to the phrase “Who Dat” or “Who Dat Nation” or the fleur-de-lis symbol.

Caldwell says he is working — apparently overtime — with the NFL to confirm in writing the commitments it made by phone today.

The Who Dat Nation is waiting to hear back from you, Buddy.