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Monson: There's too much hate in BYU-Utah rivalry
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Max Hall's postgame I-hate-Utah comments triggered strong and immediate and emotional pushback from both Utah and BYU fans, many of whom tossed more fuel -- and irony -- into the burning cauldron of rivalry loathing.

But maybe there are positives that could come out of all the back and forth.

Some hated Hall for hating them, saying there was no place for hate in football.

Some called Hall classless for calling them classless, scolding anyone who would use such a designation.

And some defended Hall, claiming he was accurate and courageous, even, in openly stating the truth about the raucous behavior of Utah fans put on BYU innocents.

"I don't like Utah," Hall said. "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. 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."

Didn't we all see Michael Young, Chris Hill and Spence Eccles out there manning the bucket brigade at Rice-Eccles last season, dumping contraband Budweiser on Hall's family after the BYU quarterback threw five interceptions in that Ute victory?

I swear I did.

No I didn't, but I was told by a credible source that Kyle Whittingham's wife, Jamie, was hit by somebody down on the field after Saturday's game at Edwards Stadium.

Look, Hall's comments were too all-fired comprehensive. He said he hates Utah, he thinks the whole university is classless because some fans are idiots?

There was a lot of anger and frustration built into those words, not just because of the way his family was treated, but because thereafter, for a full year, Hall had been the punch line to jokes about his six turnovers and their part in a BYU loss. He had been ripped and ridiculed, and now he was firing back.

He issued an apology Sunday night, admitting that he went too far.

But Hall, a senior who has been interviewed thousands of times at BYU, meant what he said when he said it. He said it and he fully intended to say it.

He may regret it now.

E-mail and other feedback responding to my column on Hall's remarks in Sunday's Tribune , an editorial that did not castigate him, but that said he was wrong in his comprehensive spraying of hate, were as sweeping as Hall's original comments.

A small sampling of an extremely large volume:

"Max Hall is a jerk. He says he hates Utah. I hate him. I hate BYU. That school is filled with hypocrites." -- Steve

"No, he probably shouldn't have said those things, but I don't blame him at all. There are very few true U fans. Most of them are actually just BYU haters." -- Amy

"Hall is a whiny b----, just like all Cougars and their fans." -- no name

"We also know that your [sic] classless and your column could go today and everyone would be happy. You are the lousiest sports writer in Utah's history." -- Rod.

"What a baby Max is. Why is it that BYU players are always the ones saying stupid things. I hate that place. Talk about classless." -- Tom.

"MORGAN SCALLEY MADE SIMILAR COMMENTS IN 2004 WITHOUT CRITICISM. YOU NEED TO CALL IT BOTH WAYS." -- Mark.

"You're wrong Monson. ... Go into a BYU-Utah game at Utah wearing blue next year and see how you enjoy it. You will agree with Hall after they pour beer on you. Oh yea [sic], I forgot, the language you have to tolerate all around you. Gutter talk does not quite describe what a BYU fan has to endure. Actually, it is categorized by the law as assault." -- Don.

"Maybe someone should remind the self-righteous, egotistical quarterback at the school down south of the alumni presentation at the classless university a couple of weeks ago. Oh that was just for President Thomas S. Monson. Maybe Max knows him and could get a lesson in humility from him. Lots of luck in the NFL, Maxi." -- Ron.

"Add another 'classless' butthead to Hall's list -- you." -- Clark.

Yeah, there's plenty of hate to go around.

Maybe, just maybe, everyone can learn from this whole thing. Maybe everyone can learn that there really is too much animosity and antipathy, too much bitterness and nastiness, too much malice and rancor in this rivalry.

Too much hatred. Too much hatred mixed with religion.

There's guilt on both sides in this state, the red and the blue.

Nobody has to join hands and sing Kumbaya, but real hating, even in limited doses, on the other guys is ridiculous. Perhaps everybody can pull back and get this thing under control.

It's more likely, sadly, that it will go the other way, and Hall's words about hate will generate more hate. When I sat directly in front of him and heard them come out of his mouth, it reminded me of the quote spoken by that great philosopher Yoda.

"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."

When it comes to this sometimes-glorious, sometimes-pathetic rivalry, haven't both Cougars and Utes and everyone around them suffered enough?

GORDON MONSON hosts the "Monson and Graham Show" weekdays from 2-6 p.m. on 1280 AM The Zone. He can be reached at gmonson@sltrib.com" Target="_BLANK">gmonson@sltrib.com.

Max Hall's statement released Sunday evening

"I want to take the opportunity to clarify and apologize for a few of my remarks after the game yesterday. Last year at RES my family was spit on, had beer dumped on them, and were physically assaulted on several occasions. They had to endure extremely vile comments personally attacking my wife, my mother, other family members, and our religion. They had to be escorted to their car by local police. As a result of what happened to my family last year this rivalry became personal, and in the heat of the moment yesterday I made comments toward the entire university that were really directed specifically at those fans in RES. It was not intended to be directed at the entire organization and all of their fans and I apologize that it came out that way. I have the upmost [sic] respect for Kyle Whittingham, his coaching staff, and the Utah football players. I apologize to them and other members of the university for my comments. I'm also sorry if my comments took anything away from my teammates and coaches and our victory Saturday. The BYU-Utah game is a great rivalry, but no one should be treated the way my family was last year. I'm hoping that BYU and Utah fans can take steps to prevent future incidents at the game."

Response to Monson's column, Hall's comment after the game

"You're wrong Monson. ... Go into a BYU-Utah game at Utah wearing blue next year and see how you enjoy it. You will agree with Hall after they pour beer on you. Oh yea [sic], I forgot, the language you have to tolerate all around you. Gutter talk does not quite describe what a BYU fan has to endure. Actually, it is categorized by the law as assault." -- Don.

Max Hall at Saturday's press conference following the 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. 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."

Response to Max Hall's earlier comments

"If you're a true BYU fan, you really don't like Utah. [The diatribe] doesn't reflect the church, it doesn't reflect the school. It reflects his emotions, his passion for what has happened and his frustration with his previous experience."

B.J. Oldroyd, a 26-year-old from Lindon

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