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WHO DEY: What’s the origin of the iconic Bengals chant?

BEAVERCREEK — “Who Dey think gonna beat them Bengals? Nobody!!”

Bengals fans, and opponents, have heard the chant for over 40 years cascading from the stands of Riverfront Stadium and Paul Brown Stadium. The chant is a staple on game day with fans shouting after singing “Bengals Growl” after a touchdown, and the mascot, appropriately named Who Dey, is running along the sidelines.

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Fans have been using this rallying cry for years, but how familiar are Bengals fans with the origin of where the chant came from?

“I have no clue,” Bengals fan Mason Gricetomlinson said. “I have no idea. I don’t know,” Erin Scholz added.

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Turns out the Who Dey chant has roots dating back to the 18th century in this area. However its most widely known and associated with Hudepohl beer in the 1980s.

“The beer came after the chant,” Mif Frank, owner of Arrow Wine and Spirts told News Center 7′s Candace Price. “The first Super Bowl appearance is when the beer came out originally.”

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Who Dey was put on the original Hudepohl cans when the Bengals made it to Super Bowl XVI in 1982 and Super Bowl XXIII in 1989, Frank said.

However some say the Bengals chant was stolen from another NFL team, the New Orleans Saints, who have a similar-sounding chant “Who Dat.”

“New Orleans is Who Dat, (but) I don’t know much about that one,” Frank said.

It’s believed the Saints’ Who Dat chant has origins to performance acts in the in the early 19th century, and that’s led some to believe the football use of “Who Dat” came first from the Crescent City.

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“Probably very high chance (New Orleans was first), but doesn’t matter,” Gricetomlinson said.

Whether its a simple adaptation, original to the area, or where ever it came from, Bengals fans have been committed for over 40 years to make sure opponents and fans alike don’t forget it.

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