'Let he who understands the offside rule cast the first stone." Those, I'm sure, would have been the words of our Lord if he were alive today. He would have put a protective arm around Andy and asked, "hand's up here anyone who has never been offside?"

Very few hands would have gone up. Not so much that very few people have never been offside – haven't we all been at some point – but more because these days it's impossible to tell. In offside situations today, people look at the linesman, but it's more out of habit than anything else. No one really has a clue.

The words "clearly offside" haven't been used confidently since about 1976. That was the year that the term "'not interfering with play" was first introduced to a confused public. It inspired one Liverpool manager to inquire in exasperation, "if he's not interfering with play what's he doing on the pitch?" but no satisfactory answer has ever found.

Since then it's been mayhem. Jim Corr has added it to his list of international conspiracies. OJ Simpson's defence was less full of holes than most offside shouts. People are simultaneously offside and not offside. They are not offside at one moment and then, by simply changing their facial expression; they are suddenly a mile off. It's become almost a frame of mind.

And into this world of mayhem came poor Andy Gray. Armed with technology and determined to right the wrongs perpetrated by increasingly bizarre refereeing decisions, he attempted to bring order to the chaos.

Magic lines were drawn on screens, when a player ran he left little luminous footprints. The world had never seen the like. You could see when a player was offside and when he'd wandered back on. But still nothing could explain Luton's second goal against Bury. He was off, clearly off. How could this be? Andy was basically driving himself insane.

When he said: "she's only a girl, how would she know if he was offside?" he was simply expressing the exasperation of a man who now believes that only he, Richard Keyes and possibly Alan Hanson still understand the basic rule.

What he meant to say, and what would have landed him in considerably less hot water was, "she isn't one of the last three people on earth who understand offside, how could she make the right the decision?"

Today, of course, he knows exactly what offside is. There is no longer any room for doubt. He is "clearly offside" and video replays are being called for Richard. They are offside physically and mentally. The only questionable thing is "was it a red card?"

As I write this, I'm sure the boy Gray is alone somewhere, generating computer models that show him to be the victim of another refereeing travesty. Strangely, from now on, he may find himself, bizarrely, to be anti new technology, particularly in TV studios

Still it could have been worse. He is a product of the terraces, a world where chants about a footballer's wife's sexual preferences are sung lustily by crowds of up to 60,000 in unison. There is nothing that can't and won't be said. If that poor ref's assistant had had the temerity to be a black person with disabilities and a fondness for the music of kd lang, well… it could have been biblical.