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BRANDON: On football officiating, fake injuries, 'special kids' and 'unbelievable drives'

Random football thoughts:

• It's crazy to me how differently football and basketball are officiated.

In basketball, referees tend to call "touch" fouls early in the game, but in the final minutes, almost anything goes in the way of contact.

In football, pass defenders usually can get away with grabbing, holding, bumping and climbing over receivers for much the game, but in the final minutes, the same contact or less draws a flag for interference or holding.

 I'm tired of teams faking injuries to stop play so the defense can catch its breath, get organized and disrupt the offense's momentum.

Enough.

New rule: When play is stopped to tend to an injured defensive player, the opposing team may pick one other player — any player — to sit out the next four downs, along with the injured player.

I know that sounds harsh, especially in the event of an honest injury. But it's a man's game, so live with it.

Bottom line: You want to have some no-name defender crumple to the ground in "pain" so you can get a free timeout? Fine. But your All-Everything defender is going to be on the sideline for a while. Your call.

Leave the injury-faking to soccer.

 Note to all winning coaches: Yes, your "kids" are "special." So are probably 98 percent of everybody else's kids.

Especially when you have just won by one or two or three points in the final seconds, in a game that could have gone either way, and after one of your kids made a bonehead taunt that could have cost you the game, your kids are not that much more special than anyone else's.

• Can we please have a moratorium on the phrase "unbelievable drive" to describe when one team scores the winning touchdown near the end of a game?

It's not unbelievable. Not anymore, at least. It's common now that the team with the ball last wins with a final drive, especially in college football, with all the clock stoppages after first downs.

When a team has time to run eight to 11 plays — which doesn't take much more than a minute in college football — it's not unbelievable to think that team will get into scoring position, because defenses are playing softer and deeper than usual.

And once any good team is in scoring position, it's not unbelievable when it scores a touchdown.

Unbelievable? That's Cal's five laterals to beat Stanford.