Dayton Daily thinks Touchdown Jesus burning is big news

Eleven stories, two editorials on the lightning strike on Touchdown Jesus in the Dayton Daily News- or should I say the “Touchdown Jesus News”

Here is the complete listing of stories about the lightning strike on Touchdown Jesus:

  1. Sculptor: Love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it
  2. Jesus statue fire damages estimated at $700,000
  3. Some say there is meaning behind destruction of giant Jesus statue
  4. Meltdown of statue elicits worldwide awe, response
  5. ‘Big Butter’ song adds death verse after fire
  6. Rebuilt Jesus statue will be fireproof, pastor says
  7. Should Solid Rock rebuild its giant and costly statue?
  8. News of fire at church spread quickly through social media
  9. Comedian updates song after demise of ‘Big Butter Jesus’
  10. Drivers stopping to see statue remains cited
  11. Some ‘mourn’ loss of Jesus statue

and the two editorials:

  1. Editorial: In life and in flames, it grabbed eyes
  2. Put a headline on “Touchdown Jesus”

The last link, actually asks for headlines, and some are quite funny.

However, this is more coverage than the BP Oil Spill and probably equal to the coverage on the first day of 9/11.

Look to see a special supplement with a “poster” of the before and after, with the ad department calling it a collectible.

The Desperate Daily News has reached a new low. However, I’m sure that this is nothing compared to the public burning they will give me at the candidates interview on Monday, June 28 when I meet with their editorial board (the one that has to ask their readers for help with headlines).

And for the record, God apparently does have a sense of humor, or takes the part about making no graven images even more seriously than we thought.

Of course then again- everyone’s a critic.

[addition for reader Drexel Dave]

Touchdown Jesus speaks

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geneDrexel Dave SparksLarkinPatrick JonesDavid Esrati Recent comment authors
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Drexel Dave Sparks
Drexel Dave Sparks

It is big news. Not big news in that it means anything, but news that everyone is talking about. Novelty news. DDN is just riding this wave. Big deal.
Perhaps you should have mentioned that they completely forgot to mention some hometown boys whose very own song and video on the subject has garnered thousands of views worldwide and more than it’s fair share of downloads off of I-tunes:


It was mentioned/picked up by several newspapers/web news nationwide. Maybe you are missing the boat here David? The world does not revolve around you/South Park/ Dayton/ your interests.

What is funny is that it went from a touchdown to a field goal – and field goals still win games.

Patrick Jones

As others have pointed out, Touchdown Jesus should not be reconstructed because the money it would cost to build it could be put to uses that would be of far greater benefit to people.  For that reason alone, it seems right that the statue now be left to exist only in the hearts and minds of those who appreciated it. But I think even from a Christian perspective, the statue should not rise again.  The prohibition in Exodus 20:4 against graven images serves three useful purposes for followers of that faith.  First, the Hebrews had seen their pagan neighbors erect statue after statue of their gods and worship them.  They had also seen those statues destroyed and replaced by others — and the gods that those statues represented seemed to suffer the same fate.  They didn’t want their own god so easily swept away.  Second, the Hebrews most certainly did not want their concept of god tied to any particular image.  The current hotly debated (but irrelevant) issues over whether god is male or female, black or white, even gay or straight should prove why a prohibition on depictions of god is still a good idea. But I think most importantly, the Hebrews did not want any part of their faith bound up in any inanimate object.  They didn’t want a person’s relationship with god dependent on the existence of a statue or charm or bracelet or mojo bag or anything like that.  This, I think, is the best reason for not rebuilding the statute.  In some of the news coverage, I’ve heard many people credit the sight of the statute with bringing people closer to Christ.  While I hesitate to speak for the son of god, I can’t believe he would be anything but dubious at the prospect of someone coming to him through a statue.  Gargantuan piles of styrofoam just don’t bring people to god.  I like to think every good Christian knows that only god brings people to god. I, for one, miss old Touchdown Jesus, but only for the amusement it brought me every time I… Read more »

Drexel Dave Sparks
Drexel Dave Sparks

Solid Rock Church should do whatever the hell they want.
If you want to effect church policy, join the church and start going to the business meetings.


People ( most liberals, that is) love to tell other people how to spend their money. Funny, because they also want to tax most of your money to begin with, you know, the stuff YOU work for, that YOU earn.

So in their world, tax people at 74%  then make demands on how they spend the other 26%. That would be their perfect world.

Patrick Jones

I agree with you, Sparks, and I’ll go one better.  Solid Rock Church and you and I can all do whatever the hell we want.  They can rebuild the statue.  I can say it’s a bad idea.  You can post a video.  I can be completely unimpressed by it.
Freedom is just win-win for everybody!
take care

Patrick Jones

Well, gene, when asked whether people should pay their taxes, Jesus does tell people to “render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar’s.”
And then two nights ago, a lightning strike vaporized Touchdown Jesus.
So given god’s favor for taxes and apparently unfavorable opinion on how the Solid Rock Church spends its money, the verdict is in: god’s a liberal.  Hide your paycheck!
take care


It is God, not god. And maybe he wants them to rebuild to put people to work. Glad you know God so well.

Yep, God wants to take from one (via taxes) and give to another (often the reciever is undeserving, most of the time.)  btw, people pay their taxes all of the time. Just keep taxing, that was God’s plan.


Drexel Dave Sparks
Drexel Dave Sparks

@ Dave: Thank you very much.
Giant Jesus is very good in introducing the word of drexel to the people.
We finally agree Gene!
Gianter Jesus coming soon!


I hope they build a bigger Jesus. And next to him should be Andre the Giant. Then we would know who the real Giant is!

Big John Studd? Kevin Nash? others…?….

They should build a series of ex/current Giant pro wrestlers (and other Giant people) and a Giant Jesus. Then people would take notice. Bobby the Brain can be the manager…. or Brother Love better yet.

Drexel Dave Sparks
Drexel Dave Sparks

I would like to see a two-headed Jesus/Jimmy Hart combo. It’s sorta’ the official gateway to the South, so we might as well celebrate it to the max.
We are not like other people.


Across 75 Hustler could build a huge Undertaker with Paul Bearer (his once manger)

Actually, just build wraslin’ guys up and down 75 with Jesus – I worship all of them….

People would talk about the Cin/Day area a lot more then!


Dave, I think you might be well advised to ease off the Dayton Daily News. It’s become something of a one-note drum for you. Plus, why invite their negative coverage of you? It’s clear they’re not a red hot metro daily, but they are the only paper that we have. Why keep poking at the elderly dog with sticks? It can still rise up and bite you.

Drexel Dave Sparks
Drexel Dave Sparks

Agreed with Larkin.
As a former newspaper man, I would have jumped ALL OVER that story too. It’s a natural, and you could tell that by the instantaneous conversation on and offline concerning the story. It sells papers, and now, banner impressions and click thrus. That means money for the DDN. They have to pay bills like everyone else, and whether we like it or not (I would venture to say that most journalists don’t like it), Giant Jesus burning getting struck by lightning gets lots more natural attention.
It’s not like you can’t click google news and get one billion stories on the oil spill. National news is not local news forte. Daily newspapers went to poop when they adopted the USA format of being all things to all people while serving nobody. Radical localization is where it’s at in the news business. The world and national scene are already covered, unless there’s a local angle there.
There is no reason you can’t cover Giant Jesus turning into Giant Transformer and cover whatever real news (politics/crime/business) is going on.
With this, and other constant barbs levied at the DDN (many of them valid), you are committing a cardinal sin of public relations: drowning yourself out.
Take care, and happy father’s day to all the pappy’s out there.


The thing about the Giant Jesus is unlike a lot of other news (that may be important) most every person has an opinion about the Giant Jesus. Articles about bullshit politics and who is screwing whom is “blah” to 75% of the people. Giant Jesus is a real topic of conversation, and was long before the lightning strike. Everytime you went south it was something to smile about or shake your head. I love the fact it pisses so many people off. I want them to  build twenty of them. Those who hate it sure the hell will defend other people and their relgions – you know, if it is main stream (number one, like Christianity in the USA) then it sucks. But if it is a minority relgion, lord knows the liberals will defend that shit. I love it!


And as far as the DDN goes, give it a break. When did everyone become such an expert regarding newspapers. It is what it is… if Esrati thinks he is so GD special then he should go run it. I get sick and tired of people acting like they know what is best. Last time I checked most of the losers who are so called experts are not rich – so if you are so smart why would you elect to make less money, especially if you own you own business. Proof is in the puddin’ pops here bub. Most of us are just ave. joes, including me, and thinking what is best for a DEAD INDUSTRY across this country seems a little ‘esrati’ to me.

Just too many people complain about something that is not all that important to begin with. What happens if the DDN goes away? Not much….