Who Dey is the name of a chant of support by fans of the Cincinnati Bengals, an American football team. The entire chant is: "Who dey! Who dey! Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?" The answer screamed in unison, "nobody."
Although the exact origin of the phrase is disputed, it had been made popular by 1981 in Bengals fans’ cheers for their team during their run to Super Bowl XVI. Some fans would do the chant and other fans would reply, “Nobody!” The cheer again gained national recognition in their 1988 appearance in Super Bowl XXIII. Due to the success of the Bengals team in the 2005 season, the chant is again gaining popularity.
Different theories of the origin of the chant exist:
A 1980 commercial for Red Frazier Ford of Cincinnati used this tagline: “Who's going to give you a better deal than Red Frazier? Nobody!” Cincinnati fans who had seen the commercial many times may have just copied it when cheering.
The now-defunct Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company of Cincinnati had been producing a beer called Hudy Delight, which was just a shortening of the company’s name. In the 1980’s, they re-labeled the drink as Hu-Dey to cash in on the popularity of the Bengals.
Cincinnati radio station 700 AM WLW recorded a version of the chant in 1980, which was played on the radio and also released on a 45 RPM record.
The phrase and mascot were featured prominently in the music video for "Fear 'Da Tiger", a 2005 song written by legendary funk bassist and singer Bootsy Collins, a Cincinnati native, to be played on the internal video system during games. It also features "raps" by several Bengals players.
The phrase was displayed prominently in the season 8 of the CBS television show, The Amazing Race. The winning team, the Linz family, were Bengals fans from Cincinnati. One team member often wore a shirt that said "WHO DEY" in large letters, and the team chanted the slogan upon reaching the finish line and winning first place.
The phrase who dey is also an informal colloquial greeting among Bengals fans.
After the Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2005 Wild Card round of the playoffs, Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and the players in the locker room celebrated by Cowher chanting "Who dey?" and the players responding "We dey!" two times. Then one Steeler chanted "Who dey think they gonna beat dem Bengals?" All responded "We dey!" It is reported however that the same evening the Steelers chanted "Who dey?", an assistant coach's wife broke her leg. Cincinnati fans claimed it was due to using their chant.
It is reported that Carmen Electra got a "Who Dey" tattoo on her ankle.
It is reported that "Who Dey" is the title of Cincinnati native Nick Lachey's next solo album.
It is reported that for the upcoming 2006 season, the Cincinnati Bengals plan on adding additional mascots: The "Who-dettes." The Who-dettes will be a group of twelve female "little people" dressed as Bengal Tigers and will be on the sidelines during the game shooting hot dogs and t-shirts into the stands.
It is reported that elderly retirees in Cleveland watch mugshots of Bengals players on the news and wonder, "Who dey?"
As a write in vote, the Cincinnati Bengals mascot "Who Dey" finished third in the 2005 Cincinnati Mayoral Election, losing to current Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.
In the upcoming film Tigress of the Jungle, adult film star Jenna Jameson is reported to scream "Who Dey! Who Dey! Who Dey!!" during the movie's climax.
Who Dey leads all NFL mascots with five Pro-Bowl appearances.
Rumors-It came from the Saints, It came from Alcorn State University, It came from LSU. All of which are false (see below).
It started in November of 1981. And following is the stepping stone to it's arrival.
The Bengals were going up against the Steelers in the middle of October. Both had records of 4-2. The Steelers lost their first two games and then went on to win 4 in a row. It was the lowly Bengals playing the Super Bowl Champs of 1979 who was 9-7 in 1980. It was a big deal beating the Steelers because the Bengals already were defeated by co division leaders Houston and Cleveland who were 11-5 the year before.
At that time Pittsburgh was the big game of the year. That and Buffalo who was 11-5 also in 1980. The Buffalo Bills game didn't mean as much because the Bengals only beat teams that had worse records than them in 1981 before that game. The first two games were against the Jets and Seahawks who had records of 4-12 in 1980. And Baltimore who won 1 more games than the Bengals in 1980. The Pittsburgh game meant more than all other games at the time. The Bengals Superbowl at the time. They won their Superbowl beating the Steelers 34-7. But the Bengals had a let down game following that game going against the Saints or (Ain'ts at that time). Losing 17-7.
The future didn't look bright. Because next on the schedule every team had a winning record the year before. And the next 3 team were 11-5 after the 1980 season. First Houston who already beat us, then the Chargers and Rams. All three were in the playoffs the prior two years,The Rams and Oilers prior 3 years. San Diego was picked to win the Superbowl in 1981. Plus we had Cleveland again, who were 11-5 and Atlanta who finish 1980 at 12-4. Five of the teams had a total of 24 losses in 1980.
Cincinnati went on a great run. After starting out 5-3. They beat Houston by 13, San Diego by 23 and Los Angeles by 14. The chant started after the San Diego game-Second game of November. The Bengals had 5 games in November and won all 5. Beating every team by more than 2 TD's. The Bengals only lost one more game all the way up to the Superbowl. That game was against the 49'ers who they also played and lost to in the Superbowl.
The chant started, Who They think is going to beat them Bengals. Cincinnati was on a roll-they were 7-3 a season after they finished 6-10 and prior two seasons 4-12) When some hollered, "Who They think is going to beat them Bengals" Other fans would reply with "Nobody"!
A week or two later. The whole chant started to grow, and the nobody was stretched out to Noooo Boooooooody. Coming from an old car commercial of (Red Frazier Ford ) who was out of business at the time. But had a very popular commercial, Who's going to give you a better deal than Red Frazier? Nooo Boooody.
Following that, the chant put was on a 45 record. Recorded by Cincinnati's WLWT sportscaster, Zip Rzeppa.
Here are the lyrics to the record recording:
From the banks of the Ohio comes that orange and black machine They're the Cincinnati Bengals The finest ever seen With stripes upon their helmets and fire in their eyes They'll take the field they will not yield They're strong and tough and wise Who Dey.Who Dey, Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals
Hear that Bengal growling, mean and angry See that Bengal prowling, lean and hungry An offensive brute, run, pass, or boot And defensively, he's rough errrr tough errrr Cincinnati Bengals that's the team were gonna cheer to victory Touchdown Bengals!! Put some points up on the board and win a game for Cincinnati!
Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals Who Dey, Who Dey, Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals?
When Cincinnati made the playoffs, the Hudepohl beer company jumped on the Who Dey bandwagon with their own version in Hu Dey Beer.
Who they think is going to beat them Bengals. Quickly changed to Who Dey think is gonna beat dem Bengals.
Other myths as to its origins:
Who Dat?. Saints fans claim Who Dat precedes Who Dey. Indeed it does, as it has been claimed to originate as early as the 1930's. However, being that the Bengals "Who Dey" cheer started in 1981 and the Saints "Who Dat" cheer was copied off of the LSU Tigers (who copied and edited the Bengals fans' "Who Dey", using the phrase in 1982) and originated in 1983, there is no doubt as to which football team originated the chant as a football cheer.
The phrase “Who Dat” is actually decades older than 1980. In fact, it was used in a 1930s Harmon-Ising cartoon musical on Turner Classic Movies which included Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Ethal Waters and the Mills Brothers. The characters were frogs in a swamp. The name of the cartoon is “Swng Wedding. Thus, unlike the speculation contained on the origins of “Who Dat” and “Who Dey”, there is actual movies, cartoons, and books proving that “Who Dat” originated much earlier than “Who Dey", just not by any sports fan base.
U.S. cartoon shorts. Offered as an historical document. Very racist with nasty stereotypes. Some wild rhythm & blues, jazz groups and music parodies. In "Swing Wedding" a wild eye'd hipster "shoots-up" with his trumpet valve as a hypo while Fats Waller, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Ethal Waters and the Mills Brothers are impersonated!! These cartoons are not for children (or some adults)! Titles include "Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs" (1943), "Uncle Tom's Bungalow" (1937), Mighty Mouse in "Eliza on the Ice" (1944), "It Happened To Crusoe" (1941), "Voodoo In Harlem" (1938), "Uncle Tom's Cabana" (1947), "Pop-Pie Ala Mode" (1945), "Swing Wedding" (1937). Bonus Selection: Weird cartoons from the 30s-50s.
In fact, there are actually several cartoons using the phrase “Who Dat” long before “Who Dey” started. In 1938, MGM had an animated character named “Bosko” in a cartoon called "Lil Ol Bosko in Bagdad." Bosko used the phrase “Who Dat” in this cartoon.
Finally, an actor from Monroe, Louisiana named Mantan Moreland used the phrase “Who Dat” a Charlie Chan movie. His character was Birmingham Brown. The name of the movie was “Charlie Chan in the Secret Service.” The movie was made in 1944.
The Saint's Who Dat started in 1983, Bum Phillips had the Saints fans feeling playoffs for the first time in their history. They had their best start ever with a 5-3 record halfway through the season. They lost their first two games by a total of 4 points. They could of easily been 6-0, or 7-1 at the halfway point.
They picked up Who Dat somewhere during those first 8 games, but their dream season wasn't to be. They Saints finished opposite of how they started, winning only three more games and finishing 8-8.
The Saint's Who Dat started up again in 1987 the year they started out 3-3 and never lost another game until they made the playoffs. Losing to the Viking in their first playoff game. Before 1987 the Saints were known as the Ain'ts, never having a winning record until 1987. They went 8-8 twice, but could never end up above .500.
The reason many believe it came from the Saints, was because their Who Dat chant was popular the 1987 season and the Bengals Who Dey chant was ringing loud in peoples ears the Bengals Super Bowl season of 1988.
The Saints took Who Dat from LSU. It was reported that LSU football was using a "who dat" chant in 1982. When they went to the Orange Bowl against Nebraska. Orange Bowl History A year after the Bengals played in the Super Bowl. LSU finished behind Georgia for the Sec championship. Georgia play Penn St in the Sugar Bowl and lost to the National Champions. LSU lost to Nebraska who finished with second best record in the nation.
The Sec had 4 team in top 20 in 1982. And LSU beat every team in the conference except Georgia (National Championship Game) and Tennessee which they had tied. LSU had the Tiger connection with the Bengals. And in 1981 the Bengals had LSU record holder Charles Alexander on their roster. Who still holds the single season rushing record at LSU. So the alum from LSU watch the Bengals closely because of Charles Alexander. So it was easy for them to pick up the Who Dey chant and revise it to Who Dat when they started winning in 1982.
LSU had the same type Cinderella story as the Bengals. They finished 3-7-1 in 1981 and only beat one conference team. But turned it around in 1982 going 8-2-1 losing only to Georgia in the SEC. The LSU Tigers lost the Orange Bowl game 21-20 against the second best team in the nation at the time-Nebraska.