He was going to New York, not around the corner for wings.
Probably the first reaction I had to the news that Bills cornerback Shareece Wright took an Uber from Chicago to Buffalo for practice was “What was the driver thinking?” Now we know. He thought he was taking Wright to Buffalo Wild Wings.
The Washington Post spoke to the driver, 26-year-old Hadi Abdollahian, who admitted when he heard Wright say “Buffalo,” he initially assumed he meant he was getting wings.
“He told me Buffalo and I thought he meant Buffalo [Wild Wings] grill,” Abdollahian told the Post. “So I said, ‘Yeah, for sure.’”
When realized the actual destination was nearly 550 miles away, he was surprised, but didn’t have second thoughts, telling the Post he had “promised” Wright to take him.
Not only did Abdollahian agree to the ride, it sounds like he and Wright really hit it off during their eight-hour trip. Abdollahian says they had pretty personal conversations about their families, including Abdollahian’s story of fleeing unrest in Turkey as a refugee four years ago.
Abdollahian, who hopes to enroll in a computer science program at Loyola University Chicago this fall, also netted a fair amount of cash. By my math, after Uber took its cut, he took home about $800 before tolls, gas and taxes, including a $300 tip from Wright. A Bills sponsor, BlueRock Energy, is also matching the full $932.08 Wright spent and giving it to Abdollahian.
But for Abdollahian, the once-in-a-lifetime experience was more valuable than the payment.
“Honestly, I’m more excited … because of Mr. Wright,” Abdollahian told the Post. “I’m his friend just for taking him to New York. This is more than enough for me.”
He also said he’s going to start rooting for Wright’s Bills in addition to his hometown Bears, which is fine because a Chicago-Buffalo Super Bowl is still a few years away.