Cornerback Shareece Wright is entering his first season as a member of the Buffalo Bills.
After spending the first four seasons with the San Diego Chargers, Wright played for the Baltimore Ravens for the last two years.
While he has never made a profound impact on the field and likely won’t morph into an All-Pro talent for the Bills, the 30-year-old certainly knows how to make a great first impression.
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When he found himself stranded at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after missing a connecting flight on Monday night, Wright decided that there was no way he was going to be late for OTAs the following day.
Therefore, he jumped in an Uber and took a 550-mile journey to the Bills practice facility in Orchard Park, New York.
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Wright’s agent Tamerat Berhe asked him about he total cost of the trip via Twitter and soon after, a receipt was posted:
The trip itself cost $632.08 and after the $300 tip that Wright gave the driver, he nearly dropped a grand on the adventure.
It’s worth mentioning that OTAs are completely voluntary practices, but since Wright is in his first season with the team, there’s a lot for him to learn. Apparently, there was no way that he would miss the first day, which started at 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
“For me it was no question that I had to make it here,” Wright told Kelly Baker of BuffaloBills.com. “I actually had a redeye booked and I ended up changing that flight and taking an earlier flight to the 2:30 [p.m.] flight just to give myself some margin for error just in case something happened.”
He then explained how lucky be was to find a driver that agreed to drive him eight hours away:
“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 ‘Yea 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.,” Wright recounted.
The driver began driving at 10 p.m. and drove straight through the night, stopping just one time for gas on the way. Wright got to his destination with just minutes to go.
That’s A-plus customer service right there. As you can imagine, the man behind the wheel was also a driven individual.
“He actually was a refugee,” Wright explained. “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.”
The two must have gotten to know each other pretty well on the long drive.
Overall, Wright wouldn’t have done things differently, as his efforts must have been appreciated by the team’s coaches and his teammates.
“It’s not even mandatory that we have to be here, but for me it is,” said Wright. “I’m a veteran in this game, I’m here to lead by example and show how important it is. It’s only right that I do whatever I can to lead by example of how important it is to be here with my teammates and how important it is to be at practice to get better. I’m new to the team and I’m going to do whatever I can to play my role on this team.”
It’s safe to say that he might give himself some more leeway next time he travels, though.
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