Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) inserted himself in a controversy between the people of New Orleans and the National Football League (NFL) on Friday.

Melancon, a candidate for Senate, launched a petition to the NFL urging the league to drop its copyright claim to the phrase, "Who dat?" which has become a rallying cry for fans of the New Orleans Saints.

"This week has been a great one for Saints fans, as we've been celebrating our beloved team making it to the Super Bowl for the first time in team history," Melancon wrote in a letter to supporters. "But some heavy-handed legal posturing by the NFL is threatening to put a damper on our celebration."

The NFL has sent cease and desist letters to merchants who use the phrase "Who dat," leading Melancon to launch his petition, which got more than 1,000 petitions in its first hour after being launched.

"No one owns "WHO DAT" except for Who Dat Nation," Melancon wrote. "For all of us long-time Saints fans, it's doubly frustrating to see the NFL swoop in just as soon as our team breaks out into the national spotlight."

The Saints face off against the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday, Feb. 7.