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.

  • ego maniac

    Do you really think we give a rats ass what your opinion is. You have shown in the past your opinions are not with the clicks of your keypad. We are blogging to each other not you. You are just the modern day newspaper boy shouting EXTRA EXTRA read all about it!! A trained monkey could do your job. The only reset that is needed is your inflated ego.

  • HS FB Coach

    Great response! As a former HS FB head coach, I can’t believe any coach would turn down coverage, especially positve, about his program. If its a distraction, then maybe its the coach’s fault for not being able to focus his team. Because there are no beat writers for HS, predictions are nothing more than educated guesses at best and shouldn’t be regarded as anything more. Everyone has an opinion and its up to the coach to help his ignore all of them and focus his team on the task at hand, the one common goal, execute, play hard and hopefully be victorious regardless of the opponent. I encourage you and more journalists to continue and even increase your coverage of HS athletics, and predictions. They’re fun, and no offense, but quite meaningless. I encourage more coaches to welcome journalists on their sidelines and embrace what little coverage they may get. It’s a treat not only for that player but all those around him. Lastly, good for you for sticking to your guns, ignore the gripes, and stand up to the verbal disgruntled few. I wish I had. You will be around much longer than them.

  • Just a Voice

    I couldn’t agree more with “HS FB Coach” great response. Although I may not agree with everything you report, predict, etc.. But name a Journalist that has been always agreed with, not even the late great “JIM MURRY” was agreed with by all… And like HS FB coach said, “stick to you GUNS” and report it and print it cause we’ll READ IT and you get the thrill of seeing all the responses (good or bad, happy or angree) and having the last laugh. See “ego maniac” you think he’s happy…… HA,HA, LMAO……….

    Keep it up ARAM and FRED,,,,,,,,,,,

  • jmcdonough

    I’ve followed this blog for 6 years through the good and bad comments and persecution. When you left , it just wasn’t the same. I personally am so glad you are back. I admire your ability to speak your convictions no matter whether it is popular or not. Egomaniac doesn’t care what you think or what your opinions are, yet he is on the blog that you help to create into the popular forum that we all love. Keep doing what you do, and keep being the sports writer you are, because right or wrong your articles and opions are the starting off points for many of our blog comments and opinions. I enjoy having this forum to help me stay informed and current on all the local sgv high school football current events. I truly enjoy this blog, and I thank you for all you do.

  • Willie Ellison

    I don’t think it was so much that you picked Azusa. I think a lot of people did. I think it was the way you said “I don’t think Village Christian knows what awaits it Friday night.” Almost like it was going to be a complete blow out. Anybody who had seen VC knew that they were a solid team and it was going to be an extremely tough first round macthup for Azusa. They were not a number 16 seed by any stretch but that’s the way it played out for Azusa unfortunately. The Olympic is much tougher than the Montview. It’s not even close. So an upset was a very real possibility. And of course it happened.

  • john clayton

    this is worse then your 3-7 south hills article

  • Scholar Athlete and Gentleman

    WHAT!!! No “you heard it here 1st” extraordinarily insightful prediction on all blogs against La Serna this evening? What you seemed to continue to fail to recognize is not that fans are upset by your predictions but the arrogant, dismissive and dis-respecting way that you sometimes make the predictions. You should have developed an understanding of 2 vital points by this juncture in your High School Preps coverage career but somehow have failed. 1at now matter how you feel personally about a school or coach, the MOST important elements of a journalist and especially a youth sports journalist, are objectivity and truth. These 2 elements seem to be too often lost in your report of, on and glaringly absent of local programs. 2nd given the ferocity of you frequent blog responses to dissenters (and this piece is obviously an overblown response to dissenters) you have not gained the maturity or the professional perspective to realize that your readers do have the right to disagree with your work.
    In Prep sports, as in no other journalistic specialty, reports involve someone’s young child, grandchild, friend, school, etc and will be taken more personally. For this reason your work MUST be devoid of ANY arrogance or perceived dis-respect. Even on a HS sports blog (and yes I realize a blog is not journalism) the point is not all about you and your feelings about teams, performance and events. The focus is a forum for and by the entire community for information, support and distention about teams, performance and events. This will include support of and yes distention to your work. ARAM you are suppose to be the professional here and professionals take a professional perspective and get over it. If you cannot accept that response, then you have but 3 choices, delete and block all dissention, close the blog or get over it and grow from it. I for one will be looking for choice 3 as I also look forward to unbiased and objective coverage of the all encompassing SGV(and perhaps some positive coverage or consideration of the La Serna Lancers).

  • Colt74

    If anyone is upset because you have an opinion..well that’s just wrong on so many levels. My favorite part of the predictions is when any of us Frank the fans can out pick the sports gurus. Those that know all and see all and then there’s us. It’s fun, but that’s all it is. High school sports can be a crap shoot but when we roll 7 it sure is nice over the gurus snake-eyes.
    This blog is like Vegas. You’ll have people coming out of the woodwork to let everyone know that they won. But you’ll never hear of all the times that they went home down 3 grand or more.
    I think that for some reason some may forget that your job is to report sports and stimulate discussion instead of picking up the pom-poms for their favorite teams.
    Oh..and in Vegas they WILL take a bet on anything. You just gotta ask.

  • TC observer

    Scholar Athlete and Gentleman,


    The SGV Newsgroup sportswriters do a fine job and call them as they see. I have NEVER read a report/column calling out ANY player.

    Are SGV Newsgroup sportswriters PERFECT. No they are not.

    Please provide example(s) of ‘disrespect’ towards ANYBODY.

  • Leigh Brockway


    Just keep on doing the excellent job you’ve done for years. People get so wrapped up in a high school game that they can’t see what is really important. The development of kids, making them better athletes and, more importantly, better people, is what sports are all about. Not the guy living vicariously through their kid who can’t accept the simple fact that sometimes you just lose a game, and the world won’t end because of it.

    I once had a player who told me, “Coach, sometimes adults suck all the fun out of things.” Kid was a sage, to be sure.

  • rog

    This is a joke , it’s high school football. I love the way the tribune covers the sport it makes it fun. That’s what it should be fun. If you live your life through high school football, you need to get a real life. Once again it’s high school football.

  • Anonymous

    And yet again Aram says, “Gotcha”

    You stimulate the talk and enjoy the walk. Your stylish wit makes me enjoy your columns. And for all of you on the blogs… good and bad. Enjoy it, for it is coming to a close in just a couple weeks.

    And since no one said it this week I can’t resist just to get everyone up in arms again, “Go Lancers!”


  • The Truth

    Don’t think the Aram curse is real? Just got to look at what happened to Rosemead last night. Enough said.

  • Aram

    Aram jinx = “San Dimas will go the furthest of any Valle Vista League team” … yes, it’s alive and well.

  • Mike the Clone


    Look at you A.T. getting up into the face.

    Kind of like Rome calling Everett a CHRIS. Betcha I do…Chris!

    Aram all I can say is RACK EM!

    That was sweet!


    Mike the Clone

  • Poppa K

    Aram, Who cares what haters think? Just do your thing and report and comment. Good games last night with several local schools making the final four in multiple divisions. Just a thought…

  • Scholar Athlete and Gentleman

    @TC observer
    My comments were not made about the Trib staff but were made about ARAM specifically. I have included the URL references so as not to be accused of taking things out of context.
    Calling the Del Rio the weakest it has been in years and as to La Serna specifically I think La Serna putting up 60 and 70 points in two league games is more a reflection of the league’s weakness than La Serna’s strength. Keep fully in mind that ARAM has yet to even witness a La Serna practice much less a game this year, To not see a team and then make a speculation like this is disrespectful.
    9. La Serna (7-1) — So, just how good is the Del Rio this year? Find out in mid-Nov. Perhaps if ARAM saw them he would see the team, he would now how good they were. All Encompassing is his term, not mine.
    9. La Serna (8-1) The Southeast’s forgotten contender did beat La Mirada this year. Forgotten by ARAM only. With the number of fans that travel to see LS games, I find it offensive to be referred to as a forgotten contender.
    But administrators don’t get paid by a football team’s wins and losses. They get paid by test scores and attendance. That makes things like a thriving football program expendable.
    no football program is safe in the hands of the wrong administrator. We’ll never truly know why Crutchfield was let go.
    I know of no greater example of a dis-respectful comment by anyone to imply that Mr Barba is the wrong administrator because of a personnel decision he made on a football coach. Further It is wrong for a professional journalist to state without evidence that the reasons given by that administer were anything but those given.
    These are just a few of the many such comments. I have not bothered to include other spoken comments or addressed other blog responses. Remember it was ARAM who brought forth the issue for comments, I stand by my comments.

  • Dan a BoCat fan

    Come on this is the first time I come to this blog dude and if this is the only thing you can say. I have job security. Get real. If you were any good you would be with the mother paper. (the LA Times)