YOU all know something that I don’t.

You’re on the other side of 90 minutes of football which could make or break a nation. I don’t know what the result will be.

I'm filing this column early, to breeze out into the muggy night and get to a pub, place my pint on one of the perennially slightly-sticky tables in the Wetherspoons over the road and get ready to shout.

I like football. I like watching my young sons play, their endless running, they way they just never get tired, their young, scrappy attempts on goal, shouting their friends' names for a pass, and their funny celebrations when they score.

My older brother first took me to Ayresome Park when I was four, but I didn't like standing up for all that time, not being able to see over the red-clad men, and the way my toes felt like someone had put them in dry ice.

But I follow Boro, still, and like to get to the odd match, where I appreciate the seating and the gourmet delicacies (although next time I'll give the Parmo-in-a-bun a miss).

It pains me to admit this, because I'm falling into the biggest anti-women stereotype going. I only have a vague understanding of the offside rile. In fact I don't really understand the rules, because I didn't play football. At my girls-only school, it was hockey in the winter, netball in the spring, tennis in the summer. We asked if we could play football but I don't think our teachers knew anything about it.

So, my ignorance of the beautiful game is not because I'm a woman. It's because I have never played the game, never taught the rules from an early age and through experience.

Since England started to look promising in the World Cup this year, I've seen so many comments from indignant men accusing women of jumping on the bandwagon and sneering at them for not understanding the rules or knowing enough about it.

Thankfully more and more women and girls are playing football. The FA is investing money in encouraging it now, at grassroots level.

And in my sons' teams, all primary age, there is no distinction– the girls can play alongside the boys, although they are too few and far between.

It must take some grit for these girls to turn up to train with the boys, but those I have seen are made welcome.

The England women's team, we know, have recently been more successful than the men's – yet some football fans still sneer and say the standard is poor.

Of course it isn't as high as the men's – it will take more decades of investment and hard work, and increasing participation among young girls, to get it there.

For now, we have to put up with patronising comments about the offside rule. One, being shared widely on social media and on a pink background, explains the rule in the simple terms of a queue in a shoe shop.

I'm not a humourless feminist. I did laugh at the ludicrousness of it.

However it is overwhelmingly, horrifically sexist.

And despite reading it, I'm still not sure about the intricacies of the offside rule...