By now most everybody has heard and seen film footage of the BCS National Championship bound undefeated Florida State Seminoles — and now there is a highlight reel of their ball boy “Red Lightning.”
Destin photographer Jake Brashears of For Reel Photos is the young man behind the YouTube Video that reeled in more than a million views in eight days.
“I’ve put up a couple of things here and there for myself, but this is the first I’ve put up for other people to enjoy. It kind of went crazy,” Brashears said.
“We’ve had views from all seven continents. You can’t name a country that hasn’t seen it. It’s world wide,” he laughingly said. The YouTube Video has been seen from China to Australia.
The whole idea behind the minute-and-a-half video came about after Brashears, who is a die-hard Florida State fan, and some of his buddies noticed the red-bearded ball boy hustling at the games.
“We had noticed from being at the games and seeing him on TV, that he’d always find his way into camera shots. We saw him hustling real hard and it just became an inside joke between me and some of my friends. He was like our good luck charm,” Brashears said.
So Brashears decided to take some clips off TV and record some footage and make a little highlight reel. “I wanted to show off my man’s skills,” Brashears said.
“I put it up first for some of my buddies to see, on Facebook and some FSU fans, and then it started spreading around the Internet. It didn’t take but a couple of days.”
The man in the video is Frankie Grizzle-Malgrat, who works on the equipment staff for the Seminoles. Brashears later found out through a message board that Frankie refers to himself as Red Lightning.
“That was all I needed to hear … that was plenty for me, so we ran with it,” Brashears said. He put the video together with the song “The Distance” by CAKE in the background.
Since the video has come out, Brashears says he and Red Lightning are Facebook friends and have also talked via emails.
“He’s a nice guy. He’s been taking it like a champ, just rolling with it.
“He woke up one morning and he’s a celebrity around FSU now,” Brashears said.
Once the buzz got to going around campus, Brashears teamed up with an FSU fan in Tallahassee that owns a T-shirt shop and they put together a Red Lightning T-shirt to raise money for the Kidz1stFund, which is a charity that FSU coach Jimbo Fisher runs to help fight a rare disease that his kid has.
“We’re donating all the proceeds to that,” he said. So far, they have sold more than 500 shirts.
Brashears, 27, never went to Florida State but he did live in Tallahassee for a couple of years. He grew up rooting for the Seminoles and over time became friends with some of the Bowden family.
“I got to go to a whole bunch of games and I got in even deeper … I’m pretty ate up with it now,” he said.
Brashears says he’s been going to Florida State games for about 12 or 15 years.
“I try not to miss any home games, so that puts me at about seven a year, plus a bowl game. So I go to about eight games a year, for at least a decade now.
“I’ve probably been to about 150 to 200 games. I’m Seminoles all the way. I tell people I bleed garnet and gold.”
And he already has his tickets, plane flight, hotel — the whole thing — lined up for a trip to Pasadena, Calif., for the BCS Championship game between the Seminoles and Auburn Tigers on Jan. 6.
“It’s just a matter of going now,” he said.
And he has total faith in his beloved Seminoles.
“We’re going to take them to the woodshed,” he said. “It’s FSU by at least two touchdowns … you heard it here first.”
The BSC National Championship game, Florida State vs. Auburn University, is Jan. 6, 8:30 Eastern in Pasadena, Calif.