I am a Ute fan to the core. I sat rigid in my chair, heart pounding, muscles strained as the Utes equalized with the Cougars in the last minute of play. My anxious hope for a win flowed into deep disappointment Saturday night as Max Hall connected with BYU receiver Andrew George for the game winning touchdown.
I usually sit for 30 seconds, watching the BYU celebration before I turn off the TV. The disappointment remained after this game. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it was awful to watch certain Ute players earn penalty after penalty; letting their emotions get the best of them in an emotionally charged football game.
I always expect the furor of the game to continue in the press on the following Sunday. What I didn’t expect was the surprising coverage regarding Max Hall’s post-game comments. http://www.sltrib.com/byucougars/ci_13887821
After scanning several related articles, I puzzled over the quotes wondering what caused Max to change his tune over the last year.
In defense of Max Hall, his expressions after last year’s blow-out game (Utah 48-BYU 24) were completely the opposite. In fact, I reread his quotes many times because of how impressed I was with his candor regarding the Ute’s excellent performance and his realistic self assessment in which he admitted the Ute defense really made it difficult for him to pass the ball at all. I remember feeling grateful for his uncommonly honest appraisal of the game. He sincerely complemented the Ute team and program for their performance and came off very classy in doing so.
With that in mind, the comments Max made yesterday after the game create a strong contrast revealing that something changed for Max this year. He gave us a small clue with the comment about fans throwing beer on his family members. That would tick most people off. I know the local media has punished him for the interceptions he threw in the last rival game. He also said, “[the Ute fans] did a whole bunch of nasty things.”
Having witnessed the rival games and the antics that go on before and after the game, I believe he’s telling the truth. I believe that several Ute fans have made life miserable for Max. I believe it because I know from experience the meanness that surfaces over this yearly match.
Max, in sincere expression, I’m sorry for whatever’s happened to you to cause you to express such strong emotions about the Ute fans and program. You were a great adversary in the enjoyable competition of the sport. I still hold to the fading ideal of good sportsmanship and feel your expressions must be indicative of several wrongs committed by the side of Red. I’m chalking up your recent comments to those wrongs and won’t forget the class you demonstrated last year. Best of luck to you in your career.