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The Offside rule

6 Feb

I understand the off-side rule.

Ok, alright….that’s quite a bold claim, but my point here is that football isn’t a complicated game, when you take a good long, hard look at it. But perhaps, the more avid the fan, the less able they are to just ‘look at it’. I’m not a huge football fan, although I have to stress that I do enjoy it, but I suspect my occasional ambivalence is because I understand its appeal too well, which is quite an ironic position to be in. Also, footballers just are not fascinating, witty and exciting icons in the same way that a decent pop star or actor is. It sometimes seems the more they are paid, the less intelligent copy they can give. But, there I probably have missed the point, because it’s their talent for playing the game that makes them heroes to those who also played the game avidly as a kid and have followed it ever since. Personally, however, I’ve always been a really mediocre player, and that’s being kind to myself. I am to football what Cheetah is to painting.

Incidentally, for anyone reading this from outside Britain, and other footballing nations, I’m not talking about the American sport of the same name. There we have a good example of why the British find the United States irritating, no matter how much they might like the people. English words get spelt differently, and often have completely different meanings, which is going to really hack off an English speaking foreigner. Especially if they’re English.

Anyway, I digress. Recently I addressed this subject with a close friend and basically came to the conclusion that if my life had gone another way, I’d be equally obsessed with premiership positions, transfer details and ancient match results as I am with music chart positions, band line ups and record sales. I actually do quite enjoy football, but not in the passionate way I know I’m expected to. I wait until some huge tournament like the World Cup or the European championship before I get excited, and even then my emotion is saved for the event. I don’t spend months salivating in anticipation. The scary thing is, I know this could quite easily happen, given a nudge. Maybe, I should watch out for that.

I did feel a sad tingle when Bolton legend Nat Lofthouse passed away recently, so maybe I’m weakening.

Anyway, all that aside, the blog title promised to explain the Off side rule. Well, see, it’s simple. If the player is in the offside position, he can’t be actively involved in the game, when the ball has been touched by his fellow team player. Er…that’s right isn’t it? No? A little bit? Look, the off-side position is if he’s nearer to the goal line than the ball or one of the defenders…ok, bear with me, I had this all written down and figured out earlier on.

Oh hang on, I can hear the kettle boiling. I really have to go and sort that. I’ll explain this properly later. Promise. 😀