Making Sense Of Max Hall's "Hate" Comments and the BYU-Utah Rivalry

Tyler StimsonCorrespondent IDecember 3, 2009

This was the first BYU-Utah game I've ever attended in person.

It was a 20-6 BYU lead heading into the fourth quarter. The stadium was rocking, and it looked like the Utes were down and out. The BYU defense was playing as good as it had all season. Jordan Wynn looked like a freshman. Then suddenly the tide turned.

Utah got two field goals, a touchdown, and a two point conversion in the fourth quarter and tied the game up; we were headed into overtime. The stadium was still rocking, but everyone was nervous, instead of euphoric.

BYU won the coin toss, played good defense, and held Utah to a FG. It was second and 10 at the 25 yard line for Max Hall and the BYU offense. Hall threw a laser between two Ute defenders to Andrew George, who kept his balance and ran the remainder of the distance into the end zone. Final Score: BYU 26, Utah 23. After that, it was pure chaos.

George was mobbed by a combination of teammates and fans storming the field as they formed a huge dogpile on top of him.

I was one of those fans that stormed the field—there is no greater feeling. Mindlessly running onto your favorite college football team's field with thousands of other fans, mobbing the players, hugging them, andgiving them high fives after beating your ranked arch-rival. Andrew George (the BYU TE who caught the winning touchdown) even crowd-surfed right over me.

But then Max Hall was asked what this victory meant to him. His controversial comments soon followed: "I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, their fans. I hate everything," Hall said. "It felt really good to send those guys home."

"I think the whole university and their fans and the organization is classless," Hall said. "They threw beer on my family and stuff last year and did a whole bunch of nasty things. I don't respect them and they deserved to lose."


In an already heated rivalry, Max Hall just upped the ante. He later apologized, saying he meant the comments only for those fans who threw beer on his family last year. Regardless, Utah fans will not forgive and forget.

Especially considering Max Hall's 2-1 record against the Utes and the ridiculous self-righteousness that it shows.

But as a BYU fan, I have to admit that a part of me liked the comments. I don't agree with them at all. But honestly, it is so refreshing to hear a player talk a little trash and tell us how they really feel.

When I first saw his comments, my first reaction was to laugh. It almost reminded me of Michael Jordan's hall of fame speech. Instead of thanking teammates or just taking the traditional route to post game interview, Hall decided to finally let the world know how he really felt about the Utes.

It was pretty classless of those Ute fans to throw beer on his family—his family had to have a police detail at this year's game.

All true BYU fans hate Utah—but in a good natured sort of way. At least for me. I mean I love Utah in all of their non-conference games. I was so happy when they destroyed Alabama last year in the Sugar Bowl.

I think this is up there with any rivalry in college football—it certainly has been the most hotly contested and has provided more dramatic finishes than any rivalry I can think of in recent years.

With a heartbreaking loss to their arch-rival BYU, Ute fans latched on to Hall's comments to help them cope with their third loss in the last four years. And that's fine. Keep in mind that he has apologized though.