Have some patience and it’ll all be fine

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — I have a key card for my room and a pass for Friday morning’s buffet breakfast. That’s all I had on me, along with my phone.

One round of the berries, melon, yogurt and oats and another trip for a bit of eggs, potatoes and bacon. If you’ve ever been to a hotel breakfast buffet, you know bacon is a luxury.

I told Robb Schmidt, Youngstown State University men’s basketball play-by-play announcer, that I was living right having bacon. He shook his head and thought I was weird. My wife, Michele, would concur. I enjoyed myself anyhow.

I then headed upstairs to the ninth floor where I planned to write this column, get in a 3-mile workout on an elliptical and get started on a multiple-part series on life on the road with the YSU men’s basketball team. That’s where I currently am, following the Penguins on their two-game road trip to Michigan.

I inserted the key card to begin the rest of my morning. Nothing. No lights. Nothing. I tried it a couple of more times, still nothing.

Downstairs I met Michael and told him I’m with the YSU team. Michael said he saw the Penguins won by one point Thursday night. He and his son will be in attendance for today’s YSU at Detroit Mercy game at Callahan Hall, starting at 1 p.m.

He tried with his master key to get in, but still nothing. He said the battery on the door lock must be dead. As Michael entered the elevator, he told me about Dick Vitale’s success in the 1977 season when Detroit went to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. I’m looking forward to seeing this venue, which Michael said he prefers over new arenas like the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Arturo, one of the engineers at the hotel, came up to my room with his cart. He had a long, bent metal rod tied to a plastic electrical cord. The two worked in unison to try to open the door. I said it was like trying to open a car door with the keys still inside. Been there, done that plenty of times.

It took Arturo about 15 minutes and another engineer coming down the hall, who said, “I guess you needed me to walk down to open it.”

Patience, it’s something I’ve tried to acquire in the last couple of years as I’m in my mid-40s. Quick tempers and hasty judgments don’t help anyone, unless they are needed to give someone a much-needed and well-deserved kick in the rump.

The YSU men’s team had lost three straight headed into Thursday’s 75-74 win at Oakland. It would’ve been easy to dismiss and get mad during this stretch. But not this resilient team, which constantly hustles for 50-50 balls.

The Penguins were a different team in the second half Thursday, rebounding and boxing out.

Devin Morgan made some key plays and well-timed 3-pointers and Darius Quisenberry was the team’s closer with some aggressive play offensively and defensively to carry YSU to the win.

Michael Akuchie and John Sally came off the bench to provide the much-needed force underneath the basket.

YSU has struggled to close out games all season. Thursday was a difference maker for these Penguins with a lot of freshman and sophomores at their core. It comes down to patience.

Friday morning, I found mine.

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