But, since we're in the Lunatic Fringe category, I'd like to take this opportunity to nominate the NFL for claiming ownership of the term "Who Dat?"
With regard to "Who Dat?", according to SeeingBlack.com, "The chant of "Who Dat?" originated in minstrel shows and vaudeville acts of the late 1800s and early 1900s, and was then taken up by jazz and big band performers in the 1920s and 30s."
Despite their greed, sounds like the NFL has some bad lawyering to even attempt that claim. A quick Google, as you found, would seem to support that the phrase is in the public domain, and can't be copyrighted/trademarked. Even Who Dat, Inc. would be hard pressed to defend their copyright claim to the phrase. You're right, the floodgates have been/will be opened to trying to put a price on any and everything that corporations can remotely lay claim to.
Imagine this sad attempt, from the same folks who are still fighting to deny pensions and disability benefits to permanently disabled players:
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said it is clear that the NFL, which generates more than $7 billion a year in revenue, has the resources but not the will to fix what is becoming a growing public-relations nightmare for the league and its Players Association. Kerry said if the league can't fix its pension and disability problems, he would introduce legislation that would create a fund to address the health and financial needs of scores of ex-players who have become physically broken, depressed, even homeless and suicidal.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/footb ... z0ePvLgvnu
This is an old article, but I believe the dispute is still going on. If forced to pay, the NFL, like other corporations, will pass the expense along to the consumers, networks, advertisers, etc. Maybe since we perpetuate the "demand" for football, we should "supply" the remedy? Could there be an NFL-TARP on the horizon?!
Maybe we should just turn off the old Sony, boycott TV, its trappings, and all the irresponsible junk news we are being fed, and see what transpires. (Not until after Super Bowl, of course!)