At 7 years old, Julia Ladd understands the basics of football. When she goes to Mississippi State football games with her family, she knows that there's a score people are following, and that one team wins while another loses.
She also understands that fans feel a sense of community when attending games and cheering side-by-side. In fact, she may understand that relationship far better than most adults.
Ladd enjoys following the cues of the Bulldogs fans around her. But when she saw a single Auburn fan standing in a sea of crimson and cowbell, she felt sad for the fan.
So she did the only thing in her power. She shouted, "Go Auburn!"
The moment horrified her parents, who quickly corrected her. But then they asked why she had said what she said. Ladd pointed out the solo Auburn fan in front of them.
"That man is all alone," Ladd said, according to the The Clarion-Ledger "It makes me sad."
Ladd's parents were touched that her daughter was so aware of the Auburn fan, and they brought her down to meet the man. Despite wearing Tigers garb, the two united for a touching moment:
— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) October 14, 2014
Fans from both the Auburn and Mississippi State sides have come out to commend Ladd for her display of sportsmanship, and for reminding football fans to keep intense rivalries in perspective.