Bengals History
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Origin of Who Dey
Bengals Jungle

In 1981 the Bengals had changes that were new to the team. New Uniforms , a Super Bowl Birth and The Who Dey Chant.
Today you learn  the origin of

Rumors (It came from the Saints, It came from Alcorn State University, It came from LSU.)

Today you learn how it got started, when it started and where it traveled once it became popular. 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 loses 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 commericial  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 WLW weatherman  Who's  first name was Zip.

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.

Now you will hear stories of where it started and it wasn't Cincinnati. But I assure you. It came from Cincinnati during November of 1981.

Who Dat?.  The New Orleans Saints fans want to lay claim to Who Dey through Who Dat. .Not only did it not start with the Saints, I can show where the Saints picked it up and who were the people who changed it to Who Dat.

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.

Below you will see that in 1983 Steve Monistere marketed the Who Dat Chat for the first time.

In 1983, I heard two guys yelling "Who Dat sey dey gonna beat dem Saints?" in the was the first time the Saints had ever won 8 games in a season. I went to my recording studio that very night and recorded the original "Who Dat?" song with Aaron Neville on lead vocals and the entire Saint offensive line yelling the Who Dat? chant.

The record was a local and national hit and I entered into a deal with the Saints and the N.F.L. to market Who Dat? T-Shirts and over 30 other items ranging from soap on a rope to Who Dat? Root beer. We also wrote many other Who Dat? songs over the years

The slang "Who Dat" and "Who Dey?" go back as far as American slang goes back. I didn’t' coin the "Who Dat?" phrase, I just made it popular.

For the complete collection of "Who Dat?" songs, go to

Steve Monistere

Who Dey the Mascot

Who Dey came into existence in the year 1997.
The mascot is called Who Dey because back when the Bengals were good (in the 80s) 'Who Dey' was the fans' battle cry: 'Who dey, who dey, who dey think gonna beat them Bengals??!!' The fans would then shout, 'Nooooobody!!'

The man in the uniform is Brent Claiborne. Claiborne's college was the University of Kentucky. He was a kicker on the football team and an education major. Jerry Claiborne, Brent's legendary uncle, coached his nephew in 1989 - Brent's first season and Jerry's last.

His kicking days concluded in 1993, but his education wasn't yet completed. So he went searching for scholarship money and found it stuffed in a big furry suit.

"I'd been praying for scholarships," Claiborne said, "and the Lord blessed me with an opportunity to do the Wildcat for three years."

The Kentucky Wildcat mascot is part of the cheerleading team. And the members of the cheerleading team are athletes. And athletes receive scholarships.

 Once he became Who Dey, Claiborne didn't have  premission as he strapped skis to his fleeced feet .

"A few winters ago when the roads were frozen and closed, Brent tied a rope to a truck (driven by Tim Roland), put on the Who Dey outfit, and went skiing,"  "He was doing okay until the cops pulled him over on Richmond Road. They didn't think it was too funny. But they didn't give him a ticket. Just made him get off the road."

Once for a post-game photo op, Claiborne climbed the goal post in Cincinnati to be like "Mork from Mork and Mindy a popular sitcoms of the late 1970's and early 1980's.." His antics allegedly misaligned the posts, and the Bengals' groundskeeper "reprimanded" him.