Neil Humphreys: In worst of times, the best sides of football emerge
Sport fights coronavirus with kindness, empathy and funny Fabregas
Right now, Cesc Fabregas is winning the Internet.
In a crowded field, the AS Monaco midfielder has surged ahead with his viral video, which spoofs the Eddie Murphy classic Coming to America.
On his Monaco balcony, Fabregas bellows a hearty "good morning" to his Monaco neighbours. Someone screams the "f" word at him. Fabregas innocently shouts the "f" word back, and you probably had to be there.
And you needed to have watched Coming to America to get the reference.
But Fabregas' video, mocking his self-isolation, is genuinely funny, revealing a side of the modern footballer so rarely seen - the human side.
And maybe that's what the world needs now. We seek the human and the humane when dealing with something that affects humanity.
In the worst of times, the best of footballers is peeking above the parapet, as if to check to see if the timing is right for such a character revelation.
And it is. It really is.
The industrial sports complex doesn't typically allow its multi-millionaire minions to be anything other than sinewy sound-bites and tanned advertising hoardings.
Footballers are often interchangeable identikits, repeating the same asinine drivel in post-match interviews. The matches are usually left to speak for themselves.
But there are no matches. The modern footballer is in isolation, a tragic situation that has forced something more appealing to the come to the fore.
Like a reversal of the zombification process, real people with compassionate views for their industry are emerging through the fog of the coronavirus.
In his newspaper column, Wayne Rooney revealed a depth of empathy that had somehow buried itself for the last 15 years.
He expressed his frustration that his profession had taken too long to put its employees first.
He criticised the English Premier League for not acting as swiftly as other European leagues in postponing fixtures and offered sympathy to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who has tested positive for Covid-19.
Mostly, he conveyed a father's anger.
Had he caught the virus and passed it on to his children, he could never forgive himself or the game for making him play.
LIKE YOU AND ME
He didn't sound like a footballer any more. He sounded like you and me. He sounded like a scared father and a fearful son.
He wasn't alone. Everyone from Watford manager Nigel Pearson to pundits Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Gary Lineker implored the EPL to put health concerns ahead of financial considerations.
And in a scene from a Disney-esque fairy tale, men in suits gathered as grown-ups. They worked for the EPL, the English Football League, Uefa and every national football association in Europe and they all agreed. Imagine that.
They united in the common interest. Every major league stopped. Euro 2020 moved to June 2021. Just like that.
Ordinarily, it is in the job description for Uefa and Europe's domestic associations to disagree on everything from winter breaks, the video assistant referee to Financial Fair Play regulations.
But when a much darker perspective was forced upon the industry, they all saw the light. Decisions were taking unanimously and harmoniously.
In a moment of crisis, calmness prevailed. And then came the kindness.
At the other end of the spectrum, literally, at the bottom of League Two, Stevenage brushed aside their relegation fears and turned the club into a social service centre.
They have offered assistance to the elderly of Stevenage, with services including shopping, medicine collections and household cleaning.
Newcastle United donated all the food intended for their matchday executive boxes to the city's food banks. Others followed.
At Manchester City, the club are donating to homeless charities. More symbolically, perhaps, they are delivering large consignments of spring flowers to nearby care homes.
Yes, the bouquets are pocket change for a club owned by billionaires, but the message is important. The elderly are not being forgotten.
And then, finally, there is the nakedness.
Social media is awash with photos of semi-naked footballers indulging us with their fitness routines while in isolation.
Footballers on bikes with their kids or lifting weights or washing their hands in the bathroom or kicking toilet rolls around the living room are inadvertently showing us that despite their insane talent and wealth, they are pretty much the same as us.
They are just as bored, isolated and concerned for their families as we are.
Their posts are a reassuring reminder that we really are all in this together.
They just look much better with their shirts off.