NEW ORLEANS — In New Orleans -- there’s a chant no good Saints fan could ever forget. The origin of the term “Who Dat” can be traced back more than 160 years. In athletics, the chant was used at Southern University in 1960s and later at St. Augustine High School. In 1983, however, the chant become etched in New Orleans Saints history with a simple song and a music video.
“I am happy they invited to do that back in 1983. That was fun and it’s still fun watching it,” said performer Aaron Neville. Rocking his black and gold, the New Orleans native joined us via Facetime before his show in Pennsylvania.
“I’ve been hearing “Who Dats” all my life,” said Neville. “My mom used to tell us about “Who Dat” when I was a little boy. It’s part of my history.”
Neville is quick to give credit to producers Steve and Sal Monistere and, of course, the “Who Dat” singing Saints players featured in the video.
“There is me in the middle about 50 pounds ago,” said former Pro Bowl guard Brad Edelman, who was the first Saint approached about the project. He then asked his o-line buddies Louis Oubre, John Hill, Reggie Lewis and Dave Waymer to join in.
“We had no idea what would happen,” said Edelman. “It was a fun thing but we knew Aaron was involved so we knew it would get some play yet as you well know and a lot of people do it became a phenomenon.”
Right after the song came out Edelman recalls hearing hundreds singing the song as he stood above the crowd on a balcony at an uptown bar.
“Everyone was like ‘ohhhh who dat!!!’ and we standing on balcony looking over,” said Edelman. “The energy was so incredible. I’ll never forget it.”
The song went dormant during some of the Saints darker years but popped up again for the Super Bowl run in 2009. Edelman thinks it will bring the same energy and good luck during this year’s Super Bowl run.
“Who Dat was revived and I imagine it will be back again this year,” said Edelman. “I might find myself singing in the studio again.”
Some 36 years later… “Who Dat” still a hit on game day.