The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

Fools in suits


Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? The suits in the NFL's money department. The ones who REALLY make it into the NO FUN LEAGUE.

Since the Colts and Saints qualified for the Super Bowl last Sunday, all these folks have done is:

1. Push the Pro Bowl on us as if it is one of sport's major events instead of an exhibition being played with a lot of guys who didn't quite make it as all-stars.

2. Force the Pro Bowl players from the two teams to show up in Miami for the game even though they're not playing. (I'll leave the blame for flying them back home to be able to fly back with their teams to the teams themselves.) And, most ridiculously ....

3. Tell the folks in New Orleans making and selling "Who Dat'' t-shirts to stop it because the right to make and sell shirts allegedly belongs to the NFL.

I'll leave the legalities to the lawyers. But this is a spontaneous slogan, made up in local patois sometime around the time the team was founded. It belongs to the fans of New Orleans or maybe even to somebody who claims it as his or hers, and takes the royalties away from the NFL.

In any event, a league that's usually at the top of the sports' PR pyramid is making itself look like Ebenezer Scrooge (copyright Charles Dickens) with all three of those decisions, especially the one about the t-shirts. First it celebrates New Orleans' accomplishment -- its first Super Bowl trip in the 43 seasons the team has existed -- and now it's squelching it. For what? To keep Reebok or whoever "officially'' makes its t-shirts happy. For a few bucks, probably fewer than are paid annually to a backup lineman?

The people who run the football part of the NFL are smarter than this. The money folks just want the extra pennies, dimes and quarters instead of having them go to merchants in a city still trying to recover from Katrina?

Who Dey? (The money folks, I mean.) Nobody you ever heard of. But they're making fools of themselves and of a league that's supposed to be above this kind of silliness.

Celebrate the Saints? Only if the NFL can make money off it. Roger Goodell, who knows better, should put a stop to it. Now.

By Dave Goldberg  |  January 29, 2010; 8:54 AM ET  | Category:  New Orleans Saints Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I have it on good authority that the NFL has submitted a patent on the football, the word "yard-line" and green colored grass.


Posted by: st50taw | January 29, 2010 4:23 PM

Stupid Stupid Stupid move by dumb asses are going to ruin your good will doing stuff like this.

Posted by: dmp5687 | January 30, 2010 1:26 PM

Dave Goldberg wrote:
"But this is a spontaneous slogan, made up in local patois sometime around the time the team was founded."

Having lived in New Orleans in the '50s and '60s, I can attest there was self-deprecating humor that pre-dated the NFL coming to New Orleans. It was a joke involving a phone conversation, usually told with a Cajun accent:

"Who Dat? Statue?"

Translation: "Who's that? Is that you?"

Posted by: knorth2 | January 31, 2010 2:23 PM

When did the NFL Hire Brian France away from NA$CAR?

Posted by: nourider | January 31, 2010 7:39 PM

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