Football fans pack Tiger Lane in preparation for Southern Heritage Classic

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tens of thousands of people will converge at Tiger Lane this weekend for the 30th Annual Southern Heritage Classic football game.

But well before kickoff, Classic enthusiasts are already making their way into the stadium area for an event they dub as a “cultural celebration.”

Be careful calling it just “tailgating,” instead “tradition” is better suited for what happens here at Tiger Lane on the second Saturday in September. Tennessee State University will go head-to-head against Jackson State University on the gridiron.

But outside Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, you’ll find just as much action days before the football showdown.

Tiger Lane currently resembles a tent city, as people are making their way in for the Southern Heritage Classic.

“We let the pioneers of the family basically just chill out,” LaRico Cole said.

Cole, who owns 18 Wayz Wings and Things, offered a preview of what will be served up alongside a helping of football trash talk.

“We are going to have a little ‘oh wee,’ a little ‘omg,’ a little awesome sauce, a little 1-8, see?” he said. “You have to be familiar with those before you come to 1621 Getwell. You feel me?”

If you’re asking… what’s the ‘oh wee,’ Cole said it describes the feeling you’ll get at the classic and when enjoying his wings.

Across the parking lot, more football fanatics set up shop.

“It’s more about us out here together as friends, co workers, family, together,” Michael Smith said.

Smith said he’s ready for good football and even better food.

“It’ll be about 10 slabs,” he said. “We’ll have chicken, hamburgers.”

Fans are preparing for thousands to begin filling Tiger Lane.

All tailgating spots have been sold.

The WREG family will be at the Southern Heritage Classic, and we hope to see you and meet you before the big game.

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