If you’re new to soccer and confused about the offside rule, don’t go to Slate.com for help. I’ve enjoyed Slate’s coverage of the 2014 World Cup – a new podcast, a regularly updated blog, etc. – but this video, which promises to “clear up your offsides confusion for good,” is pretty awful.
It assures viewers that, without the rule, soccer would be “mayhem, chaos, a catastrophe” but never explains why. (For one thing, strikers would crowd the opponent’s goal, waiting for long balls to be hoofed into the penalty box.) And it repeatedly uses the word “offsides” instead of “offside” — a common mistake, but still.
By the way, if you want to see the offside rule in action, watch a rerun of Italy’s 1-0 loss to Costa Rica. The toothless Italian offense seemed as confused about the rule as the legions of soccer newbies Slate is failing to educate.