Max Hall, Transparency and Social Media
It seems Max Hall is the one who learned a lesson after the football team he quarterbacks narrowly beat the University of Utah in overtime during one of the most hotly contested games in this past weekend’s rivalry week.
The annual contest pitting BYU against Utah is typically closely fought. After the game, Hall said –
“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.”
I believe he meant everything he said. What I don’t believe is the apology that was issued yesterday.
He said his comments were, “not intended to be directed at the entire organization and all of their fans and I apologize that it came out that way.
Overnight a Facebook group sprung up called “Max Hall hates me and thinks I’m classless” and has nearly 7,000 fans. This is the challenge with being open and transparent in the media.
I understand in war, propaganda and competitive sports, the opponent is dehumanized. At the end of the game, win or lose, it’s just a game. Was I upset Utah lost? Sure. But it’s a game and we’ve got next time. Max Hall is a senior and doesn’t have next time. His team won, so no regrets right?
It seems his big regret was last year’s loss at Utah. That’s what he was angry for. It wasn’t a close game. The BYU fans left in droves during the third quarter. Hall himself had a horrible game. That’s where the “hate” came from. It seems to be a bit of self-loathing.
When I read Hall’s comment I wondered if I could “hate” him. During the game, I hate BYU, but afterwords, it’s just a game. He’s human just like the rest of us. Do people get crazy at the game and maybe go too far? Having been to several of these rivalry games over the years, I think so. I’m not sure what can be done about it.
As fans, we don’t have any pressure or expectations on us. As the athlete, quarterback and on field leader of the team, Max Hall does have pressure and expectations to ignore the grumblings of disappointed fans and conduct himself with class. In this regard, Max Hall failed his team, his University and the faith he represents.
The Mountain West Conference has reprimanded Hall for his comments, but I’m not sure what that will mean from a discipline standpoint. Hall’s behavior was the verbal equivalent to LeGarrette Blount’s sucker punch earlier in the season.
Throughout his tenure as a BYU quarterback, Hall has posted record-breaking numbers. Maybe next time he’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves and keep his mouth shut.
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