Perspective and football are uneasy bedfellows.
The former can seem to the latter as logic is to magic – unforgiving at best, fatal at worst.
It would be tough to enjoy David Blaine’s latest lazily-delivered miracle if some killjoy with a clipboard and a hard hat was stood next to you, nasally breaking down every move into its constituent parts.
Similarly, when reality becomes so pointed – as today’s Covid-19-stricken, race riot-scarred version is – that it pierces football’s bubble of self-importance, it becomes difficult for the game to retain any of the soap operatic gravitas it works so hard to promote.
Who in their right mind could get steamed-up over the bowling club machinations of Scottish football while a deadly virus stalks the streets?
Who could fret about the fate of those gaudily dressed, perpetually warring lovers, Celtic and Rangers – truly the Pat and Frank Butcher of our national sport – while the wider world burns?
To shoehorn another dated pop-cultural reference into things, context is Kryptonite to the self-seriousness football often trades on in marketing itself, so it’s no surprise the game ordinarily flies away from the stuff faster than a speeding bullet.
It’s fair enough too, because, for all that fans – amongst whom I count myself to an embarrassing degree – are smitten by the escapism football offers, when bullets really start to fly, it becomes apparent that it is not the hero we need.
Fair play, then, to Dundee United’s American midfielder, Ian Harkes, who made the choice to open his heart on the shocking, world-altering events of the last week in his home country.
Harkes, having been asked for his perspective, would have been entitled to decline, much like his compatriot Michael Jordan did – as featured in Netflix’s hit documentary “The Last Dance” – when he was pressed to chip into a divisive political debate in 1990.
That the United man did not shy away, that he opted instead to stick his head above the parapet to decry the murder of George Floyd, back the Black Lives Matter movement and reveal family members had participated in protests, was not the easy option.
It may sit uncomfortably with some who prefer their football, for whatever reason, to remain unsullied by world events, and their footballers to offer nothing but clichés and platitudes.
But as far as I’m concerned, a little perspective is exactly what football, particularly in Scotland, needs.
For those on the other side of the fence, there’s always Eastenders.
James McPake was right to say the coronavirus shutdown could be a golden opportunity for young players.
With finances already stretched at many clubs – and likely to hit breaking point at others – it’s not just unrealistic to expect budgets to remain at previous levels, it’s downright mad.
Squad sizes are going to shrink and, to make up the numbers, managers will turn to their youth systems.
The mission for the kids involved is to make sure they go from making up the numbers to making names for themselves.
That said, I wouldn’t expect managers to rely completely on youngsters unless they genuinely have no choice.
Every gaffer is under pressure to meet fans’ and boards’ expectations.
That’s why, given the option, most managers would opt for a tried and tested 30-year-old over an unproven teenager.
So while we may see clubs like Dundee skew younger next season, there will still be a market – albeit a smaller one – for wily veterans.
Ali McCann doesn’t just deserve his nomination for the Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year award.
He deserves to win it.
But whether or not he is successful, his debut season in the Premiership should shame the SFA.
The Edinburgh-born 20-year-old has never even had a whisper of an age group call up for Scotland, leaving Northern Ireland to swoop.
That could prove disastrous in years to come.
Liverpool will be delighted to have been given the go-ahead to play their potential title-decider against Crystal Palace at Anfield.
There won’t be any fans there – but the place has success in its foundations.