"Who dey! Who dey! Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?!"
This is a question Cincinnati Bengals fans have been asking for over 30 years, chanting it loudly at games to express confidence in the team's ability to secure a victory.
Yet despite being a fixture in the team's legacy, few have attempted to decode the phrase or find the identity of the "dey" in question.
Researchers at Kent State University have spent months conducting surveys and interviews to determine who, if anyone, thinks they're going to defeat the Bengals. The results revealed that all 16 of the team's 2012 opponents believe they're going to defeat the Bengals, with a three percent margin of error.
"Dey," it turns out, entails a wide array of teams and individuals.
"What we uncovered is that most professional football teams, despite any statistical disadvantages, believe that they have the capacity to succeed against any opponent," explained lead researcher Dr. Claude Maru. "The Dolphins, for instance, are by most standards a dismal football team, but 97 percent of their players and 73 percent of their coaches expressed strong confidence that they could beat the Bengals."
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew echoed these sentiments, noting that his team's enormous insufficiencies shouldn't pose an obstacle in defeating the higher ranked Bengals.
"What do they got, Dalton and Green? And no No. 2 receiver? Who cares? We'll take 'em, no problem," remarked Drew.
In addition to the teams that researchers identified as "dey," they also isolated a number of other elements that could also share the classification.
"Beyond their opponents," explained Maru, "are some destructive elements that could very plausibly lead to the breakdown of this team, including: Marvin Lewis' borderline incompetence as a game day tactician, having a merciless scrooge as an owner, the tireless threat of losing players to arrest, the risk of inexperience overwhelming the young roster's talents, unpredictable Midwestern weather patterns, Dalton's meager arm strength, the dreary downfield completion percentages, the brute momentum of having failed to win a playoff game since '91, and the unavoidable fact that only misery and fruitlessness can ever come out of Ohio."
In light of these results, researchers intend to spend the next several months in New Orleans, uncovering the identity of "dat."