The clock can't be beaten. Undefeated and untied since the beginning of the universe, time is the ultimate opponent.
Western philosophy suggests to some degree the second people are born, they begin to die. If there is a predetermined amount of time one spends on earth, that clock is counting backward from conception.
No timeouts, no hurry-up offense prevents that clock from expiring.
Steelers defensive assistant Joey Porter is doing what we all do to stave off the clock. Remaining involved with the youth of his respective skill. A jolt of energy provided by a younger generation can revitalize older legs that have been gathering dust for years.
Middle-aged men play slow-pitch softball to re-live a small part of their competitive athletic days. Hines Ward took up triathalons to attempt to experience the same level of reward he got during an excellent 14-year career.
Porter spoke to ESPN reporter Scott Brown recently about his foray into coaching.
"I can't see myself putting on a suit and tie and sitting behind a desk for eight hours. That would just drive me crazy," Porter told Brown. "I need the smell of the grass. I need to be out here on a football field. I feel like I'm at my best when I'm out here. Even though I can't play no more I still feel like I have a good opportunity to help kids who want to get there."
Middle-aged fans who lived through Porter's career at or around the same age may really relate to that. As kids, we didn't get the music our parents listened to because it wasn't our era. Porter, though, was, in many ways, the representative of that era of Steelers football.
Even reading him admit he can no longer play seems wrong. Porter could always play - unless he was shot in the ass or thrown out for jawing with a scrub Browns running back.
Porter even admits he can't play now. But seeing him out there, barking at second-year outside linebacker (and seemingly the polar opposite of Porter) Jarvis Jones, it reminds us of when he could play. When he could dominate.
Whether Porter somehow flips a switch inside the intense but soft-spoken Jones and turns him into the next coming of J-Peezy may ultimately stand as his legacy as a coach. From the fan's perspective, though, he's re-cemented his legacy's foothold in our consciousness and in Steelers history.
The reason is that legacy was much more about how he carried himself even more than his highly productive statistical achievements. The story of him attempting to get on the Ravens bus to fight all comers leaves Steelers fans laughing, cheering and ultimately afraid of the guy who stalked the chalk between the tackles for nine years in Pittsburgh.
The younger generation will remember Jones in the long run, but his success will be linked to Porter, simply because of who Porter was to us in those days.
As Troy Polamalu told Brown, "he really embodied the Steelers' way and the Steelers' attitude."
This suggests the value of that attitude, that perceived mindset, is greater than the physical accomplishments a player in Pittsburgh can achieve.
That attitude and mindset stands the test of time, as long as those who lived it when they could are willing to pass it onto the next generation.