There are lots of things about football that must confuse non-devotees. How can you cheer a last minute equaliser more than a crushing victory? How can you come home disheartened after an unconvincing win over a poor and unfortunate opponent? How can a goalless game still be entrancing?
But most of all, how do you explain to someone who doesn’t watch the game that even when your team does force the ball into the net, that you may not celebrate instantly because you just feel that something is wrong! You suspect offside, but you’re not sure. And that the best feeling is not the ball crossing the line, but that delayed emotion you sense when the ball hits the back of the net yet you instinctively crane your head around the cheering hordes to spy the linesman, flag down, legging it full pelt back towards the halfway line.
Then, and only then, do you let rip.