MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After months of preparation, the 30th annual Southern Heritage Classic came to an end Saturday night with Jackson State taking home the win against Tennessee State, 49-44.
Thousands filled the Liberty Bowl to see both the Tigers teams battle it out. It was a long, hot day filled with fun, fellowship, and plenty of great food. For many people it’s more than just a game — it’s a family tradition.
“We come up here every year to defeat Tennessee,” Jackson State alum Willie Brown said..
“It’s all about that big blue TSU and the aristocrat of bands,” said Jamille Hunter.
Outside the stadium on Tiger Lane,the different shades of blue bleed together as one.
“It’s a great atmosphere,” Patrick Moore said. “You can see old and young here. You can see 80 to 8 years old. It’s hot but we can stand the heat.”
While not an alum of Jackson State or Tennessee State, Moore has been attending the Classic since it’s early beginnings. He says this is more than a game and more than just a time to tailgate, but a reunion of friends and family.
“I’ve seen so many of my classmates that have come back from high school and college that come in. We’re always going to support the HBCUs,” he said.
“Whether you’re rooting for TSU or JSU, at the end of the day, for many, it’s all about the experience,” Hunter said. “We are very proud that we were at the first Southern Heritage Classic and now we’re at the 30th still together, still hanging out.”