BUFFALO (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of NFL hopefuls are trying to turn their coaches heads this summer. One player went a little more than just the extra mile.
Bills cornerback Shareece Wright was flying from California to Buffalo, New York, Sunday for practice, but during a layover in Chicago something went wrong.
“It was a connecting flight, and it got in late,” Wright explained. “I’m running through O’Hare (Airport) trying to make it to my layover. Didn’t make it. So I start thinking on my feet right away.”
As CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reported, Wright’s solution was simple yet effective: Call Uber.
Hani Abdollahian got the call at 11 o’clock at night. Wright told him he wanted to go to Buffalo.
“I thought he meant Buffalo Grove, suburb near by Chicago,” Abdollahian said. “So I wasn’t expecting Buffalo, New York.
“And he said, ‘This is an emergency. I have to be at Buffalo.'”
Wright needed to be in Buffalo in eight hours — a trip of more than 500 miles — and they were going to cut it close.
“I was just telling him I got to be there by 7 o’clock,” Wright said. “He’s like: ‘We might not make it, but I’m going to do my best. I’m going to get you there safe and do my best. I might have to stop one time for gas. Is that cool?’ I’m like: ‘Man, do whatever you’ve got to do. Just get me there safely.'”
Wright spent the next eight hours of the overnight drive in the back of a tiny Nissan Altima talking with Abdollahian and trying to catch as much rest as possible.
“I got some rest in the car,” Wright said. “It was rough, just trying to sleep with somebody else driving and you hear that ‘doont, doont, doont, doont’ and you wake up like, ‘Everything cool?’ You don’t want to end up on the side of the road. Especially, it’s at night.'”
The journey concluded with them pulling up to the complex at 6:57 a.m. — three minutes to spare. The total bill was $632.
And the tip?
“He gave me $300, and I wasn’t expecting it,” Abdollahian said. “He was about to get out the car, and he just dropped $300. He said: ‘Thank you. I appreciate it. You saved my life.'”
A Bills sponsor offered to reimburse Wright for the entire $932 on the trip. He accepted, and he sent it directly to the driver as well.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said Wright’s story is a testament to his committment that should set an example for the rest of the team because all of it was for an offseason workout that was voluntary.