Friday, December 16, 2011

I'mma Go Harder Than Baltimore

My initial reaction after hearing how Sam Hurd was arrested was that obviously he's never seen "The Wire." As someone who's well versed in the greatest show ever made, I know that it offers plenty of examples of what not to do when selling drugs. But having slept on the matter overnight, I now realize that Sam Hurd definitely has seen "The Wire," but modeled himself after the wrong characters.

After the news broke that Hurd was arrested for trying to buy huge amounts of drugs, the obvious comparisons to "The Wire" drug king Avon Barksdale were made (and made, and made, and made). But the only legitimate comparison between the two was the quantities they were looking to push. Barksdale had his flaws, but he was much smarter than Sam Hurd acted.

If Hurd wanted to live this kind of lifestyle, that's his personal choice. But with Barksdale-esque aspirations, he should have set his sights on emulating Stringer Bell, the (mostly) legitimate businessman who "got his" but could never be linked to the dope on the table.

But Sam Hurd is no Stringer Bell, and he's definitely no Avon Barksdale. So why are we still talking about "The Wire?" Because there are two characters from the show whose stories actually relate to Hurd's: Wendell "Orlando" Blocker and Chester Karol "Ziggy" Sobotka. I'll let you decide which one he's more like.

The case for Orlando

Orlando was the front-man for Orlando's, a shake-it club used for laundering money that the Barksdale Crew got from selling that brown. Although the club had Orlando's name on it, and he acted like the boss, he was actually a poorly paid, low-level employe whose sole purpose in the organization was to bear a clean name so he could hold the liquor license. But Orlando sees the money that Barksdale, Bell and the other big names are making, and he wants a piece for himself. He wants the "glamorous" lifestyle and the power that comes with being the H.N.I.C.

Sam Hurd, the Bears fifth WR on the depth chart, was predominantly a special teams player who didn't get much shine on offense. Hurd's 2011 salary is $685,000. While it may be a lot of money to you and I, it's near the lower end of the spectrum for NFL players. Although he can afford lots of nice things with that kind of paycheck, he takes a look around and his teammates pushing 600 Benzes and other cars that might put a little too much stress on his wallet. So he supplements his income by moving weight. And during a meeting (with who he thought was a drug dealer) Hurd told federal agents that he was moving 4 kilos per week; but looking to grow.

Orlando wanted the same thing that Sam Hurd wanted: to be Avon Barksdale. They both wanted to be the one with the money, power and respect, and they both fell flat on their face trying to do it. After Bell tells Orlando he wouldn't give him any of that herone, Orlando has to find his own connect. Sam Hurd's guy couldn't give him more than the 4 ki's he already was getting, so he had to find a major supplier.

It doesn't end well for Hurd or Orlando for the same reason... Neither of them do enough homework before finding a real connect and they both get bumped because of it. Orlando gets caught up by the Murdaland State Police, and Hurd deals with the FEDs in the form of Homeland Security. Right now the only difference between the two is that Orlando gets murked before he has a chance to go to prison. Sam Hurd's fate has yet to be determined.

The case for Ziggy

Ziggy is probably the most polarizing character from "The Wire." On one hand, he's a total fuck-up who loves to rub people the wrong way. On the other, he's a good kid at heart who just wanted to be accepted by the people that fuck with him every day. Typically after he comes up with a ridiculous plan that doesn't pan out, he feels remorse at the people that he hurt while trying to prove himself.

Hurd, a union guy like Ziggy, had a legitimate source of income from his day job. But he didn't get the money or attention that he truly craved. He never had the playing time (or skills) to be a big-time WR while in Dallas, and that didn't change when he came to Chicago. He made his name on special teams, which prevented him from seeing a big payday like top-flight WRs get. So Hurd decided to jump into the coke game, because he "always will want to make more" money.

Ziggy proved that he didn't have the sufficient heart-to-brains ratio needed to be a gangsta. He would often let his emotions get the best of him, and it would put him in precarious situations. We don't know whether Sam Hurd was selling that stuff back while he was in Dallas, so maybe he was and was good at it. But we do know he's been running game since the day he got to Chicago. The problem being, he wasn't smart enough to be involved in that game.

Hurd's associate got knocked off with a weed plant and $88,000 cash back in July. So Hurd decided that it was a good idea to go to the police station and claim the money that had been recently withdrawn from his bank account (creating a paper trail). This is when Sam Hurd officially popped up on the radar.

Ziggy got his car jacked by Cheese Wagstaff (cousin of Snitchin' Randy Wagstaff) when he came up short with the money. Thinking he's a big tough-guy, Ziggy tries to confront Cheese to claim his car back. Like Hurd, it doesn't work out as planned for Ziggy, as he eventually witnesses (and smells) his candy paint burnt to a crisp.

But these minor setbacks didn't stop Ziggy or Hurd from putting in more work. Hurd would go on to move four ki's per week for the next four to five months. And Ziggy would go on to do more hoodrat stuff with his friends.

Eventually the lifestyle caught up with both Ziggy and Hurd, but Ziggy's fate already has played out. He ends up blastin' two fools after being disrespected, confessing to the murders and getting sent to the pokey. Sam Hurd is going through the process now (minus the murders, hopefully), but his ultimate destination will be federal-pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

So after hearing both arguments, whose tale to you think better relates to the Sam Hurd story... Ziggy's or Orlando's?


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