Shtop it, just shtop it!

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There is a natural evolution to language.

But I cannot condone the insidious deterioration of how some words are being pronounced.

I’m not talking about words like “bruschetta.” That one divided a nation into those that are correct…and those who have been mislead.

It’s pronounced “broo-sketta.” And don’t argue.

In Italian “ch” makes a “k” sound, like in “Chianti.”

What I am concerned about is how the letter “h” is slowly sneaking into the middle of prefixes like “st”.

It used to be that only a toothpick-chewing mook would say, “shtreet,”  “shneak” or “shtripe.”

Then it seemed to become a purposeful mispronunciation in our urban subculture.

But when I tuned into the AFC divisional playoffs and heard former NFL player and current NBC sportscaster Chris Collinsworth say, “shtrike” I realized we have hit DEFCOM 1 in the assault on the English language.

Collinsworth is teamed with veteran broadcaster Al Michaels, who has impeccable diction and flawless elocution.

Michaels is like prosciutto, the buttery cured ham from Italy.

He is complex, pleasantly light and totally satisfying.

Collinsworth is the packaged slices of processed pig-parts that have been reconstituted, molded and glued back together with gelatinous fat.

Between the two: one is sublime and the other is from Ohio.

They announced the game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Although calling that a “game” is being generous.

K.C. quarterback Patrick Mahomes was on fire and the Chiefs routed Indianapolis, 13-31.

***

Saturday’s second game featured our hometown heroes.

The Los Angeles Rams hosted the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC division.

L.A.’s first drive languished in the red zone for three-downs and ended in a field goal.

The Cowboys got the ball…touchdown.

Again, the Rams played three-downs inside the 10-yardline, only to settle for an FG.

But they woke up on both sides of the ball in the second quarter.

The Rams defense held Dallas scoreless and the offense scored TD’s on back-to-back possessions.

Copious amounts of smoke from the ensuing fireworks made it impossible to see the Cowboys in their all-white uniforms, so Dallas “shnuck” into L.A. territory.

However, when the smoke cleared the Rams sacked their QB.

 L.A. ended the half on a missed field goal, but it was a 63-yard attempt that put Kicker Greg Zuerlein closer to the parking lot than the goal post, 7-20.

Dallas went three-and-out on their first possession of the third Q.

Greg-the-Leg put up another 3-points. Dallas answered with another TD and was successful on a 2-point conversion, 15-23.

The Rams opened their lead with a touchdown at the top of the final frame and Dallas got back on the board just before the 2-minute warning.

L.A. held the ball until time expired to win, 22-30.

QB Jared Goff did an excellent job steering the ship, but all the points were scored on the ground.

Running back C.J. Anderson scored twice on his 23-carries for 123-yards while RB Todd Gurley ran 115-yards and carried the ball 16 times for a TD.

Zuerlein was 3 of 4, for 9-points and made all three PAT’s.

On Sunday the New England Patriots walked all over the L.A. Chargers, 28-41 and in New Orleans, the Saints were down 14-0 at the end of the first Q only to come back and beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-20.

The Rams play the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday.

Home field advantage is huge in the dome and the Saints are the 3-point favorites.

 Nate Burelson of Good Morning Football predicts the Pats will beat the Chiefs in Kansas City…or he will wear a barrel (on air) the following day.

To which I issue the warning, “Watch out for splinters.”

***

If you have not tried prosciutto, go to the Monte Carlo Deli in Burbank, ask for the “imported” and request they slice it so thin you can read my column through it. Then grab a few nodini mozzarella and some sourdough bread.

God Bless and enjoy the suggested repast.

Mark Felicetti knows you will want to send him “Thank You” cards for suggesting prosciutto. Email him at mark@tolucantimes.com.

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