Provo » Max Hall was ticked off.
No, he was pissed off.
Royally (blue) pissed off.
If that language offends you, just wait a paragraph or two, you haven't read anything yet, especially if you favor in any way the University of Utah. Hall had a postgame message for all of you: He "hates" you. He thinks you, your football program, your school is "classless."
The senior BYU quarterback made no bones about that, and no apologies for it.
After throwing the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime to beat Utah by the count of 26-23 on Saturday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium, Hall fired off anger and frustration and hatefulness that had been building inside him for a year.
When asked after the win whether he felt any kind of personal redemption, particularly following last season's loss at Rice-Eccles Stadium in which he committed six turnovers, Hall spiraled a string of Ute loathing that was not only steely-eyed and straight-faced, it was delivered with unmistakable intent.
He wanted everybody to know exactly what he had been hiding inside for 12 months. Hall's been around long enough, and is media-savvy enough, to know full well what the reaction would be. He said it anyway.
The eruption after the question went like this ...
"A little bit, yeah. 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.
"So it felt really good to send those guys home. They didn't deserve it. It was our turn, and our turn to win. We deserved it. We played as hard as we could tonight. And it felt really good, again, to send them home, to get them out of here, and so it is a game I will always remember."
Then, Hall was asked: Any particular reason you hate Utah?
"You really want me to go into it?"
"I think the whole university, their fans, and their organization is classless. They threw beer on my family and stuff last year, and they did a whole bunch of nasty things, and I don't respect them, and they deserve to lose."
That's what the quarterback said.
Think what you want of it. Castigate him, if you will.
I will say he's wrong. His emotion is over-the-top and misplaced. There's too much collateral damage in the bombs he let fly. Too much irresponsibility. After all, some BYU fans behave horribly, as well. And he knows that.
He should also know Utah is a terrific university, with a terrific football program, with terrific people involved with it. Most the fans are terrific, too. Some of them, indeed, are as ridiculous as they are narrow-minded and, in a some cases, small-minded.
Anybody who would toss beer on a player's family, especially after that player pretty much lost the game for his team, is a dope, an idiot, a stooge.
There's no excusing that behavior.
Hall's rant, however, ran beyond just that.
For a year, he had been a laughingstock, the brunt of jokes passed along among Utes, spoken derisively on radio shows, posted on the Internet, written across T-shirts, chucked directly into a proud man's face.
He had been hurt by it, and that was clearly evident on Saturday, just a few minutes after one of the highest moments in his long career at BYU.
One second, he was dog-piling with his teammates in the north end zone at LES, being mobbed by Cougar fans, overcome with unadulterated happiness. "It felt so good," he said.
And the next, he was spraying hate toward the school, its players and fans, he had just so gloriously defeated -- with all the specificity of a sawed-off shotgun.
I hate everything about them? The whole university is classless?
Come on, Max.
It's like hating on a community of 500,000 people because a couple hundred of them were asses toward you and yours.
Hall even took shots at his own fans, the ones who had criticized him in the wake of earlier failings, saving special mention for those who hide behind anonymous Internet names and rip away in the safety of their facelessness.
"People can say whatever they want," he said. "... It felt good to win for the true fans."
Everyone else can stick it.
Max Hall, sadly, hates your guts.