This is Your NFL

That's right--your NFL, because I don't want anything to do with them anymore. That's not to say I won't watch games--I'll be having a heart attack while the Superbowl is on just like every other Colts or Saints fan will be, and I'll watch games on tv when they're broadcast, but I'll not give them a penny in any other form, as long as they're doing this:

In letters sent to Fleurty Girl and Storyville, the NFL ordered the retailers to stop selling a host of merchandise that it says violates state and federal trademarks held by the New Orleans Saints.

Among the long list of things the NFL says is off-limits without a licensing agreement are some obvious violations like the official logo of the Saints and the team's name. But the one that stands out is "Who Dat."
There are real issues over who owns the rights to "Who Dat," but the NFL--and to be fair, the New Orleans Saints team--are throwing their considerable weight around threatening locals who use the term on t-shirts and other merchandise.

The really funny thing about this whole deal is that I don't like the phrase. I never have, even when it started in the 80s when the Saints were making their moves from full-tilt suckitude toward mediocrity, and eventually toward winning. I thought it was ignorant, and I really found it funny when I discovered that Cincinnati Bengals fans were aping it with their very own "Who Dey" chant. I even mentioned elsewhere at the beginning of the playoffs that it would be hilarious if the Saints and Bengals met in the Superbowl so their respective fans could engage in a festival of ungrammatical chanting.

And yet, now that the NFL is being such a shithead about it, I suddenly want nothing more than to find a vendor selling non-licensed Who Dat gear and stock up. T-shirts, ball caps, strap-ons--if it's got a fleur-de-lis and a #whodat hashtag, I'm all over it. And while I've never been a huge purchaser of NFL merchandise before, one thing is for certain--I'm definitely not buying anything from them now.

Not that I'm surprised by the NFL's move here. If anything, I'd be surprised if they hadn't made this move. It's who they are--corporate hogs who leech locals for every penny they can while simultaneously protecting every penny they feel belongs to them, and some that probably don't. But they have lawyers and resources and the backing of the state government and t-shirt stores have, well, rent to pay instead of lawsuits they really can't afford to get fund.

So NFL, I've got one thing to say to you. Don't ever ask for a penny from me, not in merchandise or ticket sales, not in satellite packages or taxes to fund your stadiums. You won't get it, not willingly. I'll find other places to spend my money.

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