Max Hall had been a class act.
After being blamed for most of BYU’s disappointing season a year ago, Hall never lashed out at the fans. He took everything in and tried to keep a positive outlook even though it took a toll on him and his family.
But Saturday night, after BYU’s 26-23 overtime win over rival Utah, Hall tarnished that “Better Man” image. He lashed out at Utah, its players, coaches and fans in a postgame rant that rivaled anything that has been said in the storied Holy War.
"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. 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."
Hall, a senior playing in his final regular-season game, will likely receive a reprimand from the Mountain West Conference, but in my opinion his legacy took a hit Saturday night. It’s fair for him to protect his family, but there’s a time and a place for everything. Even in a rivalry as heated as this one, there has to be some grace under fire. Hall has always been a class act by rising above. He should have done it again on Saturday.
There’s no doubt that Hall’s words will be repeated and recycled and likely altered between now and next year’s Holy War. Hall’s written himself into the history books of this rivalry, though maybe not where he wanted to be remembered.