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March 31, 2010

Prove. Him. Wrong.

Somewhere Max Hall is smiling.

A lot.

Max endured a lengthy media rape thanks to his post-game comments following last year's BYU-Utah game.

"I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, I hate their fans, I hate everything ... I think the whole university, their fans, and their organization is classless."

Calling an entire organization classless  is tomfoolery (especially considering the word classless refers to a society in which there are no social distinctions, not to a person who lacks class), but the point I want to make is this: BYU and Utah have engaged in two sporting events since those comments, and in both games a member of the Utah team has vindicated Max's words with actions worthy of the word "classless" (incorrect usage notwithstanding).

Let's examine the occurrences:

Game 1: BYU vs Utah, Basketball, Jan. 30, 2010

BYU squelched a late run by the Utes and had the game in hand with under a couple of minutes to play. That's when Ute shooting guard Marshall Henderson decided to get his non-shooting hand involved in the game. Frustrated by the defense of Cougar counterpart Jackson Emery, Henderson swung. The punch was weak, and so was Emery's fall, but the fact is that Henderson lost his cool, blew a nut, and did the "classy" thing of swinging at an unsuspecting player.

Game 2: BYU vs Utah, Basketball, March 3, 2010

BYU dominated Utah on the latter's home court, evoking this post game conversation between Ute coach Jim Boylen and a local sportswriter.

Listen carefully starting at second 43 of the clip.
Did you notice the part where the reporter requests that Boylen, "Show some class?"
Could a more redeeming phrase been used?

Not surprisingly, there was little to no uproar following the actions of Boylen or Henderson. Whereas Max's comments inspired 10,000 Facebook status updates, a slew of t-shirts, and a most certain 80% increase in beer sales at next year's BYU-Utah football game, the punch and comment from the U made nay a ripple in the social or media pond. Where every non-sport watching girl at my work had heard Max's comments, not a one had seen Henderson's punch or heard Boylen's spastic remarks. Interesting, the scrutiny that standards invoke.

Back to the point at hand. Max Hall is the all-time winningest QB at a university known specifically for great QB play. He is the second all-time leader in passing yards at the Y. He is the owner of a conference championship, and two bowl game victories. And now his most mocked words have been vindicated. The Utes had two quick chances to prove Hall's claim that they were classless wrong, and they failed miserably.

So smile Max Hall. You deserve to.


  1. The point of this blog is not to show that BYU is exempt from classless behavior. In 2007, a U of U fan was punched in the face by a Cougar fan following BYU's 4th and 18 conversion and subsequent victory. Last year, Coach Whittingham's wife was involved in an altercation with BYU fans after the Coug's overtime win. The fans of both the Cougs and Utes are near equally culpable when it comes to classless behavior. The point of the blog was to show that at the first chance for the Utes to show class and prove Max Hall's words wrong, they failed miserably.

    After all is said and done, I am not one to judge. Those who know me know I lose my cool with this rivalry as easily (or easier) as the players and coaches do. (That reminds me, have those bruises from the Sobe bottle cleared up yet Bunna?) The fact is this: I, and many others (imbibed or otherwise), could all benefit from relaxing the rivalry hatred a nip. Passion is good and all, but if we use it all on this rivalry, we'll have none left for other important things like playing chess or doing crossword puzzles. So let's relax a little.

    Until November 27, 2010, at least.

  2. Good news Bunna. Sobe is switching to plastic bottles.

  3. Yes, very good news Nathan.

    Let me say two things:

    1. As a Ute fan, I welcome the nasty comments, it's what makes the rivalry fun. And frankly people who take real offense to the behavior of singular athletes, shouldn't be watching sports. What people should really take offense to is John Beck and his crying.

    2. The reason the Max Hall incident has garnered more outrage than the 2 Ute incidents you speak of is simple: the Ute basketball program has lost its luster ever since Majerus left. Currently, no one really pays much attention to Utah basketball, good or bad, especially when compared to the behemoth football programs.

  4. Bunna, as always, speaks the truth.

    Nasty comments and smack talk are precisely what make a rivalry fun. They should not be cause for offense.

    College basketball has lost a lot of luster over the past decade...

    As for Beck and the crying incident ... The only thing worse in BYU history was the time that crazed Cougar fan tried to take out the male U of U cheerleader and got whooped.

    Ugh, bad memories.