For those of you who thought Florida State’s phenomenal quarterback was the most talked-about personality in Tallahassee, you’re wrong, dead red wrong. Though “Famous” Jameis Winston is the best player on the nation’s best team and likely the next Heisman Trophy winner, there’s been another supernatural force prowling the sidelines at Doak Campbell Stadium this season. Allow me to introduce you to the legend of “Red Lightning.”
FSU’s ball boy, Frankie Grizzle-Malgrat, earned the nickname for the ferocity with which he delivers balls to officials and chases loose balls between plays. In fact, this young man is so proficient and enigmatic that he now has his own YouTube highlight reel. The video has nearly 1 million views since its release on Dec. 4, and for good reason. Check it out.
But that’s not all. Red Lightning T-shirts are flying off the racks in Tallahassee, and word on the street indicates a statue next to that of legendary coach Bobby Bowden is also in the works. And at least one of those statements is true.
One thing that cannot be exaggerated is Red Lightning’s contributions to the Seminoles’ 13-0 run to the BCS National Championship Game. Red Lightning the best ball boy to ever prowl the sidelines, in any sport. But his dedication carries beyond those duties as he frequently celebrates touchdowns with FSU players and is never hesitant to rough up opposing players who mess with the Seminoles (as seen in the highlight reel).
I’m sure by this point Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has a copy of the video so his team can game plan for Red Lightning. Though, given his mythological abilities, it’s likely just an effort in futility. There’s simply no stopping Red Lightning.
Last week, Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher was asked if he had seen the video.
“Red Lightning?” he said with a smile. “No. I’ve heard about it, though. And you want to talk about a guy that enjoys his job and makes it fun for others? He does a tremendous job. And I tell you what, he’s the same way at practice. He’s fun to be around.”
I think what Fisher is trying to say is if there was a Heisman Trophy for ball boys, Red Lightning would be bringing home the hardware. And of course he would! How can you deny a guy whose burning eyes are only upstaged by his fiery red hair?
If you haven’t already found a reason to tune in and watch the BCS title game Jan. 6, there’s no way you’ll want to miss your chance to see a Red Lightning strike televised live.
Perhaps he can use his powers to prevent this from happening: Auburn Will Defeat Florida State with Help from Luck, Destiny, Chance, Jesus and Santa.