Ball boys are often the butt of many sports jokes. People use them as insults when talking to their friends or in reference to bad players. Despite the constant verbal beating those guys and gals take, they are still an important part of the game.
On Monday night in the BCS National Championship game between Auburn and Florida State, we became acquainted with one ball boy for the Seminoles that takes his job very seriously. On Twitter, he fast became “Red Lightning.” Laken Litman of USA Today reveals the man’s real name, Frankie Grizzle-Malgrat. He’s a 5-foot-7 ball boy and there’s no secret where his allegiance falls and it’s with the Seminoles.
In the first half of the game, he came swooping in on the sideline ready to help up quarterback Jameis Winston after he completed a run. Against the Florida Gators, he did the same with running back Devonta Freeman (there’s a GIF in the link above). Malgrats more of a celebrity than you may think. Apparently, there are t-shirts made that have been inspired by him and he signs autographs on campus.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has some future plans in mind for “Red Lightning.” On Monday night, Watt tweeted, “Can we get Red Lightning an invite to the combine?”
Football. It’s game of passion and sometimes the people with the most passion aren’t the ones battling on the field.