How had it been different, Shane Dowling was asked in their City West base on the morning after Limerick's 2018 All-Ireland hurling title win.
He could have deferred to countless gym sessions, nutrition plans, tales of communal squad suffering or some cathartic moment of illumination, but instead, he remembered the '99' van pulling into the Gaelic Grounds after training on a fine summer's evening and "everyone just chilling out on the field, having an ice cream".
If the 2018 champions were the embodiment of a team that wore their responsibility lightly, Dowling was one of their poster boys to that effect.
He was passionate, as he so often illustrated in post-match interviews, but he played the game, more often than not, with a smile on his face.
In a week when Dublin's Jack McCaffrey made his exit from the inter-county game, at least for this year, at the age of 27, Dowling's departure due to troubled knee cartilage removes another of the games' bigger personalities from the front line. He never talked or played like the game was a burden to him.
"His attitude was pervasive in that when he was in the room or on the pitch, you knew he was there, incredible character and player, huge skill, phenomenal strength," said current Limerick manager John Kiely yesterday.
Almost as long as Kiely has been managing Limerick inter-county teams, Dowling has been a player, first with the intermediates, then with U-21 and more recently the seniors.
"It's hard on Shane that he has to accept it and hard on us too that he is no longer part of it. He will be missed. I've had him all the way through my own involvement so I can't believe that Shane is departing before I am," added Kiely.
"It's a complex injury, he has had it looked at and operated on two occasions now, looking at a third and let's not even mention his other knee as well. It's just really unfortunate, everything that was done was done and Shane knows that himself."
Kiely paid tribute to his "spatial awareness" and "peripheral vision" that made him such a huge asset for Limerick, even off the bench.
"His penalty in the semi-final, the free he took against Cork after coming on, brilliant passes that maybe didn't end up as a score at the time but only a player of Shane's peripheral vision could have seen those passes and actually even attempt to execute them.
"Invariably he got those passes off and released other players into the game after drawing two or three defenders into his own area. He was an exceptional hurler, great nerve, great temperament."
One of Dowling's last meaningful moments in a Limerick shirt was that goal against Kilkenny which, as Kiely recognised was "a score that he engineered, a piece of brilliance, just sheer speed of wrist and thought and mind all working in unison".
The Limerick manager who gave him his debut in 2012, John Allen, remembers having a tough conversation about his capacity to sustain a 70-minute game at inter-county level prior to the 2013 season.
"I marked his card about him probably not being fit enough to last 70 minutes and he was probably quite upset and annoyed about it. I could understand that coming from this star rating he always had that he was now not going to make it as a starting player in 2013," said Allen, manager of the Munster Championship-winning team that year.
Within a year he had reclaimed his place, however, and won an All-Star.
"He had such skill. At this stage of my life I wouldn't use the word natural because I don't think anybody is natural at anything unless they work extremely hard to hone whatever skills they have and whatever they are interested in.
"Shane obviously did that and came to Limerick with the full array of skills, his striking was impeccable, his free-taking impeccable, strength on the ball, in the air, peripheral vision, complete set of skills and the ability to do things with the ball that lots of fellas didn't have.
"Paul Flynn, Henry Shefflin, Pat Horgan, Joe Canning, TJ Reid have and had the ability to be able to spin balls, a huge amount of striking ability in their quiver, Shane could do that too.
"He has unbelievable power in the shot, taking penalties at training you would have to have him out farther. At that time you could lift on the '21' and shoot from the '14' and he was a danger to those standing inside. We saw from then until now the number of super goals he scored," said Allen.
"He has won everything that was there to be won.
"He played significant roles in winning anything that Limerick and Na Piarsaigh won."
Dowling confirmed his retirement yesterday and said he is unsure as to whether his knees will allow him to continue playing for his club.
He missed the earlier part of the inter-county season because of knee surgery in February.