Super Bowl 2022: Why do Bengals fans say “Who Dey” and what does it mean?

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It’s a phrase that is shouted from the rafters at the Cincinnati Bengals‘ Paul Brown Stadium: “Who Dey.” Throughout the Bengals’ Super Bowl run, “Who Dey” has become a rallying cry and Cincinnati fans will likely be chanting it as the Bengals compete against the Los Angeles Rams for the Lombardi trophy. The 2022 Super Bowl is set for Sunday, February 13 on NBC and Peacock, and it will take place on the Rams’ home turf at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Coverage begins at 12:00 p.m. ET.

READ MORE: How to watch Super Bowl 2022: Live streaming options, TV channel, Peacock info for Rams vs. Bengals

What does “Who Dey” mean? Where does it come from?

Though “Who Dey” is synonymous with the Bengals, its origin is not obvious.

The exact source of the now-famous cheer is unknown, but the most popular theory involves a local brewery known as Hudepohl Beer Company and dates back to the days of Riverfront Stadium. The stadium was a multi-purpose facility in Cincinnati that was home to the Cincinnati Reds from 1970 through 2002 and the Bengals from 1970-1999.

Hudepohl has been a part of the Cincinnati community since 1885, long before the inception of the Bengals. The beer company even preceded the Reds, the first organized professional baseball team.

Because the beer company has long been a part of the fabric of Cincinnati, fans have spent hundreds of years enjoying the products, especially when cheering on their local NFL team. Over time, Hudepohl was sold in the stadium by beer vendors during games. Walking up and down aisles, vendors could be heard shouting, “Hudy,” short for Hudepohl, which sounds a lot like “HuDey,” or “Who Dey.”

A catchphrase was born.

The rise in popularity of “Who Dey”

The phrase commonly yelled inside the stadium did not become more concrete until the 1981 season when the Bengals won their first playoff game in franchise history and advanced to their first Super Bowl.

The Bengals played in Super Bowl XVI vs. the San Francisco 49ers and fell short, 26-21. But during that season, Hudepohl Brewey put “Who Dey” on one of their beer cans.

RELATED: Bengals Super Bowl history: When is the last time Cincinnati made it to, won the Super Bowl?

When the Bengals advanced to their second Super Bowl in franchise history in 1988, a game in which they lost to the 49ers, “Who Dey” rose to national prominence.

There is an obvious connection between the Bengals chant, “Who Dey” and the New Orleans Saints’ cry, “Who Dat.”

“Who Dat” first appeared in New Orleans in the late 1800s as part of the minstrel shows and vaudeville acts happening around the city. The saying gained traction in schools like LSU and Southern in the 1960s and 1970s before being officially adopted by the Saints in 1983. The full saying is: “Who Dat? Who dat say they gonna beat dem Saints?”

RELATED: How the Cincinnati Bengals got to Super Bowl 2022

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