The Orgin of the Who Dat Chant - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

The Orgin of the Who Dat Chant

Many are disputing where the Saints Who Dat chant originated. A few think it began in Patterson, Louisiana Many are disputing where the Saints Who Dat chant originated. A few think it began in Patterson, Louisiana

If you're from Louisiana, you would probably have to live under a rock to have not heard the "Who Dat" chant at least once.

But who started the infamous south Louisiana cheer?

There are some who say its origin can be traced to Patterson, Louisiana. As the Saints are on the cusp of a Super Bowl berth, the small Louisiana town is standing up and declaring in one voice that they are the originators of the official Saints chant.

"You know that it came from Patterson back when I was in high school," Patterson native Lane Larive said. "It's so well known today, somebody would look at me like I was crazy, but it's true."

The story, according to Larive, is that back in 1979 when Dalton Hillard was a sophomore running back in high school, his team made it to the state championship game. They were perennial losers until that 1979 season - that's when they went undefeated.

In many of their games, they were far behind the other team, but somehow they would come back and win.

"They had two guys in the stands in one particular home game that started chanting something," Larive said.

That something, again according to Larive, was the now-famous "Who Dat" chant. And Lawrence Francis says he was one of the two gentlemen who came up with the chant in November 1979.

"Yes, sir. (Patterson) is where the Who Dat originated," Lawrence said.

To back up the claim, they have a newspaper article dating December 12, 1979 from the Morgan City Daily Review. The articles says, "You hear the Who Dat cheers by every Jack fan at all the games."

For Francis and Larive that is proof positive. Because Dalton Hilliard was one of the running backs, Hilliard starred at LSU and eventually spent several seasons with the Saints.

That's when he brought Patterson Jack fans to the Super Dome to cheer the Saints -- changing the chant.

"Who dat? Who dat say they gonna beat them Jacks?!" Francis cheered proudly.

And who can argue with that logic.

Reporter: Jim Shannon, WAFB 9News

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