Ole Miss fan documents his SWAC Championship experience in viral Facebook post
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - On any given Saturday, one can find Walker Sturgeon cheering on the Ole Miss Rebels.
Whether he’s doting on his bowl-bound Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium after a morning of tailgating at The Grove, or traveling to Atlanta for the season-opener against Louisville, you can be sure to find Walker in his standard game-day uniform of a blazer and khakis.
But on the weekend of December 4, Walker found himself cheering on a different team, and gaining a remarkable experience.
Walker was one of many lucky enough to witness the magic of the Jackson State renaissance unfold as the Tigers procured the title of 2021 SWAC champions.
So how does a devoted Rebels fan find themselves in a sea of blue and white while basking in the phenomenon known as The Sonic Boom of The South?
Walker says he was simply accepting an invitation from Coach Deion Sanders himself.
Sanders took to media outlets days before the championship game, inviting fans from schools from all over the state to cheer on the Tigers.
“I never heard an invitation of that sort,” Walker explains.
“Mississippi versus everyone. That’s how we need to look at it.”
Walker goes on to explain that he believes that the country enjoys poking fun at Mississippi.
“We’re kind of the country’s doormat.”
But Walker is determined to flip this narrative, and he believes the most effective way to do so is to have Mississippians support each other.
Walker feels that it is imperative that Mississippians celebrate each other’s successes, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so.
However, Walker didn’t view this as an obligatory option, but rather the obvious one.
“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.”
“People just don’t know what they’re missing.”
While Walker pities those who weren’t able to see the Tigers win, he took the liberty of documenting his experience through a series of photos, and a Facebook status.
Walker’s status comes at a time when JSU fans are still on a high from Saturday night’s win. Among a flood of photos with the hashtag #TheeILove, you’ll find JSU fans welcoming Walker into the Tiger Family, with many offering to buy him shots at the next game, and inviting him to “the cookout” and “THEE tailgate.”
Walker left the game with many things such as the program that he plans on keeping as a memento, and the idea that he should try something called “Henny.” However, the Jackson State hat that he sports days after the game, symbolizes something bigger than this iconic weekend.
“I don’t even know who gave it to me,” Walker admits. But he does know that the hat was given to him by a Jackson State fan.
This simple gesture demonstrates hospitality, which is Walker’s biggest takeaway from the game.
“In Mississippi we call ourselves ‘the hospitality state,’ and I didn’t experience a single thing that contradicted that,” Walker said.
“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. If anything, that is indicative of the hospitality that Jackson State exudes.”
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