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The comic below was made in a series of LiveJournal posts during the European football championships 2004. This one explained what offside is exactly.
PhoCo04: Offside
Today we'll be reviewing the altEuro2004 Insecticon vs. Jumpstarters and I'll be explaining you how off-side works and why having a bad tempered Insecticon is a nuisance in any team.

First the Autobot Jumpstarter team with Topsin, the captain and goalie as well as the Twintwist twin-brothers.

The Insecticon team, by exception, were allowed to substitute goalie Shrapnel who injured himself while eating a nova powercore in the previous match. His replacement was recruited from the Constructicon team: Scavenger. The team is completed by teamcaptain Kickback and Bombshell.

The ref for this match will be Jetfire from a parallel universe. Some say he's a cheap immitation, hence the hostility from some of the audience.

Straight from the kickoff the Insecticons are on the offensive. Kickback passes it to Bombshell but the Jumpstarter players object for offside! The ref awards the Jumpstarters a free kick because it was indeed offside!

Let's see this again in the replay. This is the moment Kickback passes it to Bombshell.

From a different angle we can clearly see it. The ball is passed to Bombshell when he is waaaay behind the other fieldplayers (goalie not included). This is not allowed since the attacking side always has to be behind the last opposing fieldplayer (seen here by an imagenary yellow line) or he can't be included in the game. This is to prevent from attackers lounging around the enemy's goal and waiting for the ball to be tossed to him.

The Insecticons protest the ref's decision but he's strict and waves them off. Meanwhile Topspin is setting up the free kick.

But what's this! While Kickback is walking back, Topspin passes it to Twintwist who makes a storm for the goal. Bombshell protests for offside but the ref keeps the game rolling. Kickback tries to run after Twintwist to stop him but ... OOOOH!! A fierce tackle by Kickback on Twintwists ankles! Surely this will not go down well with the ref!

Was this offside? Let's see again. Nope! This time Kickback was the last player and Twintwist received the ball before he ran past Kickback!

The ref pulls a card and it's ... RED! Kickback get's a red card! What a turn-about so early in the game! Bombshell again wants to protest to the ref, but Twintwist stops him. These guys gotta watch out or both of them might get sent off.

Kickback leaves the pitch and shakes his head still disagreeing with the ref's decision. Meanwhile the ref points to the penalty dot, indicating it's a penalty. Twintwist was indeed tackled inside the penalty box.

Can the constucticon stop this one? Twintwists backs up a little and ...

.. HE SCOOOOORES!!!! Scavenger chose the wrong the wrong side!

The Autobots celebrate with their leader and coach Optimus Prime. The stunned Decepticons just lie down on the pitch trying to comprehend how they can be 0-1 down in the 1st minute and they'll have to fill the next 89 minutes with one player less ...