Touchdown Jesus Destroyed by Lightning Strike, Fire

Last night was full of excitement in the Gardner house. We expected severe thunderstorms and—thanks to Twitter and @stormchasernick—we had all of the information and radar maps we needed. Or so we thought. A tornado warning ensued as we intently watched the News (and I read up on Twitter), as we heard a funnel cloud was spotted just over a mile from our house in Finneytown. [Funny thing is, we never heard sirens from our house] Did not expect that. Nor did we expect King of Kings (a large, perhaps misplaced Jesus statue at Solid Rock Church visible from I-75 in Monroe, Ohio) to be struck by lightning and left totally destroyed in the blaze that followed.

King of Kings (or "Touchdown Jesus" statue)

Driving to and from Bowling Green State University for 4.5 years, “Touchdown Jesus” became a staple landmark on the beautiful drive up I-75 (yes, I grew to love that drive and actually think it’s a pretty one). To new passersby, TDJ was described as distracting because, well, it DID stand over 6 stories tall. Last night between the hours of 11pm and 12am, Touchdown Jesus was struck by lightning in the midst of severe weather, caught fire, and was left with just its metal frame standing.

Photo of King of Kings' with just its metal frame remaining (courtesy of WLWT)

Quite honestly, TDJ didn’t stand much of a chance since he was made from equal parts lightning rod (metal frame) and flammable materials (wood, styrofoam and fiberglass). Sad, but we all know—it standard J-Man fashion—the statue will be resurrected in no time. Hopefully this time built with less vulnerable material.

Categories: Et Cetera


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