The new Buffalo Bills cornerback posted on Twitter on Tuesday the details of an Uber trip he took from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to 1 Bills Drive in Orchard Park, New York on Sunday night. The drive, which in current traffic would span about 543 miles and take up almost nine hours, cost Wright $632.08 plus a $300 tip.
The driver himself appears to have weighed in as well:
At first glance, this seems wildly cheap all things considered. A $632.08 base fare for a nine-hour drive is generous considering poor Hadi has to get this car back to Chicago at some point. Speaking as someone who has tried to negotiate his way out of Manhattan on New Year's Eve with a yellow cab driver, the O'Hare trip to Buffalo feels favorable. Wright detailed his journey on Wednesday in an interview with the team's official site.
"My flight ended up getting in late, so I wasn't able to make my connecting flight," said Wright, who added that he didn't rent a car because he wanted to sleep before practice. "I called one of my ex-teammates that lives in Chicago ... and he wasn't able to take me and Uber was my next thought."
Apparently, this was no big deal for Hadi, the driver, who seemed quite chill about the whole thing.
"This guy accepted the ride and I called him right away and told him, 'Man, I need to go to Buffalo, N.Y. that's eight hours are you willing to take me there?' and he said, 'Yeah, man, I'll take you anywhere you need to go. I told him the situation. I told him I had to make it there by 7 a.m."
As it turns out, this was a millennial buddy film for all to enjoy. Wright got to know his driver well, and appreciated both his backstory and incredible commitment to getting Wright there on time (he made just one stop for gas in almost nine hours). Hadi sounds like the man.
"He actually was a refugee," Wright said. "He was out in Chicago with no family. He had a handful of friends and is trying to be an astronaut. He didn't know any English when he came. He's been inspired by his dad (who was a pilot) so he's just going to school and trying to be an astronaut -- he's paying for it by himself ... He had a great story to tell."
At his introductory news conference, Bills head coach Sean McDermott talked about the kind of gritty player he wanted to develop in Buffalo. While Wright displayed quite the commitment, I would not overlook the real hero winding his way back to the Windy City in a Nissan. Five stars well deserved.
UPDATE: For his part, McDermott seemed rather pleased with Wright's determination while talking about the story to reporters on Thursday: