IT'S really only a result like last Sunday's - and the bludgeoning extent of it - that reveals the expanse of the yawning gap between Dublin and Leinster's back-markers.
"When your family is behind you and the girlfriend is asking you 'what's in it for you?'. The risk versus reward.
"You can't give a straight answer, that's just they way it is and that's it," reflected Longford's Michael Quinn in an admirable display of post match honesty.
"Look, I wouldn't change it, I'm from Longford
"You're going to fight and try to bring Longford forward. I think Longford can be in a better place than we are at the moment.
"There's lot of improvements we can make and young lads coming on, just keeping them and having the support network behind us and keeping them going."
Why the gulf though?
"There's so many different variables to it. You have population, you're losing numbers, trying to keep those numbers there is a lot harder.
"Someone falls away at Dublin's level, there's someone else who can take their place straight away. There's always someone else to come in.
"You don't have that joy with Longford and other counties.
"I think the support network that's there, looking after guys, keeping them around, whether it be, helping them out with college or jobs and then just keeping them on the pitch.
"It's very hard to know what way to go about it.
"Everyone wants to be in an All-Ireland final and everyone has that dream," Quinn concluded, "but you have to be realistic about things too."