Frankie Grizzle-Malgrat is the greatest ball boy that has ever walked the campus of The Florida State University, so if you’re going to compare someone’s skills to his, you’d better come with a good argument.
The sports media seems to think the 2014 version of “Red Lightning” is Jack Longenecker, who has been nicknamed “Blue Thunder” by Bleacher Report because of a speedy dart down Auburn’s sidelines during the Tigers’ victory over Arkansas on Saturday. Here’s what it looked like, and I’ll even admit I’m impressed by the kid’s speed:
Like I said, impressive display of speed, but let’s go back and look at Red Lightning’s impressive résumé, because it’s far deeper.
(Also read: My recap of the Seminoles’ win over Oklahoma State)
There’s no doubt Blue Thunder has better closing speed than Red Lightning, but he doesn’t yet possess the intangibles of his FSU counterpart. Sure, he gets to the end zone quickly, but he doesn’t go inside the lines and truly let the players know he’s behind them like Red Lightning.
I mean, check out how many times Red Lightning actually gets on the field to celebrate with the team.
Red Lightning was a key piece of FSU’s national championship run last season, so Blue Thunder has some ground to make up in that department as well. Nearly every time Winston went down out of bounds, one guy was there to lift him up, dust him off, and send him back into action. I haven’t seen any of this from Blue Thunder yet.
Then, this weekend, Red Lightning bolstered his well-documented career by possibly preserving Florida State’s national title hopes. After a Jameis Winston interception, several FSU players were scrapping with Oklahoma State’s bench. After Winston got punched in the face – no flag was thrown for that, mind you – Red Lightning used his quick instincts to jump into the fray and pull Winston and his teammates out of harm’s way. Had he not done so, it’s possible the players would have brawled, and key Seminoles could have been ejected from the close game.
You’ll also notice that Red Lightning has a football tucked under his right arm. That ball never moves, even as he’s breaking up the scuffle with his other arm. Ball control is important, even as the ball boy is pulling double-duty.
So in this battle, the edge has to go to Red Lightning over Blue Thunder, and I’d argue that it’s not even close.
Florida State tops Auburn, yet again.