LEVENE: April, September 1981. It's me. It isn't fucking Moss. (1.1.59-60)
The competition is so brutal between these guys that Levene resorts to numbers from years before to show that he has what it takes to beat Moss. The competition for them is not just about the current sales contest—it's about their whole careers.
LEVENE: I don't get on the board the thirtieth, they're going to can my ass. (1.1.83-84)
That about it sums it up: If you don't get past the others, you get fired. That's a pretty solid foundation for competition, right. This need to be on top leads these guys to make some pretty questionable decisions, particularly Levene. Did he really think that was going to turn things around by robbing his own company?
LEVENE: I NEED A SHOT. (1.1.67)
You ever see an old banged-up quarterback limping out onto the field? Even when they can't do it physically or mentally anymore, they still can't give up that desire to compete, and they still believe they're the best man for the job. That's kind of where Levene is right now. He remembers how great he once was, but he's not quite willing to admit that he just doesn't have it anymore.