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Crucial Moments

From The Other Side Of The Bench

By David J. Seidemann, Esq.

I am picking Ohio State over Clemson in the Orange Bowl, Stanford over Michigan State in the Rose Bowl, Florida State to defeat Auburn in the BCS championship game, and Notre Dame over Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl. Yes, the college football postseason has begun and between now and New Year’s we will be witness to no less than 35 Bowl games, a schedule that that will make even the most loyal college football fan dizzy.

My Ohio State Buckeyes had been primed to face off against undefeated Florida State in the National Championship game on January 6, but last week’s loss to Michigan State snapped their 24-game winning streak. Instead, the Buckeyes will travel to the Orange Bowl to play Clemson. It hurts, but I will survive.

It’s an interesting thing, this college football postseason. The championship is decided in a one-game match. The same is true of professional football. The championship is decided when the two best teams play each other one time. This is unlike hockey, baseball, and basketball, where the champion is crowned only after one team wins a best-of-seven series. To be crowned the victor in baseball, hockey, or basketball, you have to beat the challenger at least four times. To grab the national title in college football, or to win the Super Bowl and be crowned as the champion of professional football, you only have to win that one championship game.

Yes, it’s true, there are those who acquire greatness over a long period of time and those who acquire greatness in one single moment. Some situations can be left to develop over time like a hockey championship playoff. Have a bad night? There is always tomorrow. It’s a best-of-seven series. But in other situations, like the Super Bowl, there simply is no tomorrow. It is one-and-done, as they say.

Therefore, in the all-important Iranian Nuke Bowl, I am picking Bibi over Obama, and the Iranians to do an end run around Obama. I have my money on Bibi because he has been in the trenches before and because he knows that not winning is losing. Bibi knows that, in baseball, a tie goes to the runner. But in a nuclear arms race, if you don’t get to the bag first, you are dead, literally.

Bibi knows that the best way to keep a tiger from biting is to remove its teeth. Bibi knows that once you have removed the tiger’s teeth, you don’t hand the teeth back to the tiger in exchange for a half-sincere promise from the tiger not to bite. Bibi knows that tigers bite. That’s what tigers do, and all the discussions in the world with the tiger won’t change that.

Bibi knows this because his people have been bitten before, time and time again, and he knows that no one else can be trusted with protecting his people’s turf.

What is a bit confounding is why Obama does not recognize these truths as well. His ancestors suffered degrading humiliation and persecution as well. So what makes one man a fighter and a defender and another man a prisoner? What makes one man seize the moment and create his destiny and another man surrender the moment and hope for the best, leaving his future in the hands of others?

And make no mistake: that is exactly how the cards are being laid out here. Bibi leaves the Jewish people’s future to no one but the Jews. Obama is content to leave his future in the hands of others, hoping and trusting that they will one day abandon their own interests out of concern for others. The problem with that theory is that the concern for others has never been there before.

For all of his intelligence—and you don’t become President of the United States unless you possess at least some intelligence (vice president is another story)—Mr. Obama, in my opinion, has a glaring character flaw, one that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not haunted by.

Bibi believes that a person’s future depends on how much he likes himself, how much he admires himself, and to what extent he believes in himself.

Obama apparently believes that a person’s future is dependent on how much another believes in you, how much another person admires you, how much another person likes you.

The problem with that theory is that no matter how much another person likes you, admires you, and maybe respects you, no one can believe in you more than you can believe in yourself.

A nuclear arms race is not a seven-game series. It is one-and-done. And so, while Obama sits around in the stands waiting for the second game to start, Bibi will already be back in the locker room holding the victor’s trophy high above his head. v

David Seidemann is a partner with the law firm of Seidemann and Mermelstein and serves as a professor of business law at Touro College. He can be reached at 718-692-1013 or

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Posted by on December 12, 2013. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.