Leading up the SWAC Championship Game, Deion Sanders implored football fans in Mississippi to support Jackson State as a display of state solidarity.
Walker Sturgeon, a die-hard Ole Miss fan, took the coach up on his offer.
So Sturgeon, who lives for game days at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford cheering on the Rebels, became a newfound Tigers fan last Saturday.
He documented the experience on social while inside Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium alongside a SWAC title game record 50,128 fans.
“I could sit at home and watch boring Alabama, or I could actually go to the SWAC championship and watch the battle of the bands, enjoy the atmosphere, and watch this amazing game,” he wrote on Facebook.
“People just don’t know what they’re missing.”
The post received 1.4 million likes and 3.2 million shares on the popular social media platform.
The display comes on the heels of a report that indicated Jackson State football has been a boon to the local economy to the tune of $30 million in 2021 alone.
Jackson State has featured two true home games that exceeded more than 50,000 in attendance, even eclipsing an Alabama-Mississippi State SEC game on one occasion this season.
By the end of Saturday, Sturgeon left the stadium in JSU baseball cap, new friends, and an experience he will never forget.
“I walked in there a white boy, with my Ole Miss stuff on, carrying my Mississippi flag, and at the end of the day, they were warm and welcoming, even after the fact,” he said. “If anything, that is indicative of the hospitality that Jackson State exudes.”