Chew on this …

Charter Oak lost to three of the four teams in the Inland Division semifinals. They are: Rancho Cucamonga, Chino Hills and Vista Murrieta.

Aram’s take: If you’re gonna lose five games in a season, why not make three of them to teams that are playing in a 13th game?

Monrovia-San Dimas IV … Zernickow denies SD’s mental ownership of M-Town …

You have to wonder … last year’s title game … blowing a 21-point lead this year ….

“If we beat them three more times in a row, we might own them mentally. We would sure hope to try and foster that, but we don’t own them mentally one bit right now. We’ve been fortunate enough to have circumstances fall in our laps and have taken advantage.”

Aram’s take: Here we go again. You can’t tell me that San Dimas isn’t in Monrovia’s head. But, this couldn’t set up any more perfectly for the ‘Cats. Winning a CIF title without beating San Dimas along the way would be bittersweet. And for QB Nick Bueno’s personal sanity, here’s to hoping they do it. Bueno has had an outstanding career and has laid it all out there each time the team’s have met. But this type of win has been what’s missing. There’s so much on the line for Monrovia these next two weeks. If the ‘Cats can beat San Dimas then win the division, they will be legends for breaking the San Dimas and CIF title game jinx in a two-week period. Amazing the stakes!

Worst high school game I’ve ever attended, thank God I only stayed a half …

I’m very happy for Bonita for making the semis. Coach Podley is one of the best around and deserves a long run like this. And I’m disappointed for Muir. The Stangs could’ve packed up at several points this season, but they never did.

Having said all that, last night’s game was the worst high school football game I’ve ever attended … and I’ve been to many … and yes, it was worse than any 50-0 blowout I’ve seen.

Here’s why:

1. The biggest problem is you couldn’t even call it a game. When the refs are throwing flags on every other play, it cannot be considered a game. No tempo by either side was allowed to be established. I don’t think the refs were bad guys by any stretch, I just think the game got away from them. Kinda like an NCAA tourney game where the refs are blowing whistles early on and it just becomes a vicious cycle.

2. Weather. Arguably the coldest night of the year made it very uncomfortable for everybody there. Not a huge problem, but a problem nonetheless.

3. 7:30 p.m. start time. This one is unforgivable. There’s just no reason why any school would start at 7:30. I may be coming from the angle of somebody who is working on multiple deadlines, but that’s the shape of things. Tell me what the positives are of it and I’ll listen.

Angry readers can’t keep a good man down …

Here’s my column from Friday, in case you missed it.

Last Friday night, the CIF-Southern Section playoffs for high school football began, and it seems the players weren’t the only with their game faces on.

Only minutes after the first final scores started to roll in did it begin. The vitriol was unprecedented. The San Gabriel Valley and its surrounding areas was alive and well with angry fans.

Did we get a score wrong? No.

Was the coverage not good enough? No.

Did some of our predictions go awry? Yes. And that’s all it took.

The allegations and demands were incredible.

“Go back to journalism school!”

“Wipe the egg off your face!”

“You know nothing!”

Why so harsh? I wasn’t aware you could bet San Gabriel Valley prep football games in Vegas. If so, how much did these people lose?

It didn’t just end on Friday night. It rolled over into the weekend and still burned bright earlier this week.

Readers begging not to have features done on their teams for fear of the same supposed jinx that got Mid-Valley Division top seed Azusa knocked off in the first round.

One local coach even turned down our request to do a story on one of his players this week because he didn’t want the extra attention. You know, because so many things are a secret at this time of year.

Here they were, the same people who scream at the top of their keyboards when their team does something big and they don’t see it splashed across the cover of the Tribune or Star-News not wanting coverage.

It seems to me that some fans need a reset. When a game prediction is given by myself or another of our writers, we do not root for the team we selected.

Some of the most fun I’ve had in this business has been when I was proven wrong and some player or coach from the team I picked against reminded me of that on the sideline.

While I’ll be the first to admit that prep football is very serious stuff, it’s also quite a bit of fun. The players aren’t playing for money, they’re playing for memories — good or bad.

Those are some pretty good stakes, and it’s an honor of ours to chronicle it.

Were SOME of this columnist’s predictions so bad last week that he should have had to turn in his notepad, recorder and pen for the season just like the losing teams turned in their gear? Absolutely.

But it doesn’t work like that. Fortunately, my editor doesn’t judge my performance in terms of prep football picks. So, I’m back. And since you can’t keep a good man down, I’m ready to step back out on a limb.

I’m ready to deliver the easiest prediction of the postseason. You ready? Here goes …

Because deep down you’re addicted to the blogs, because deep down you know how much this staff enjoys bringing the good word of local football to you, because nobody does it better, no matter what, you’ll keep reading.