Who? What? When? Where? Hunh?

I am confident I found the weirdest religion news story of the month.

The This Is Somerset (UK) news site had a story about a darts fan who “bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesus” getting “kicked out of a major tournament as he was putting off the players.”

Bearded darts fan Nathan Grindal was kicked out of a live televised final after the 4,500-strong crowd interrupted play by chanting about him.

Mr Grindal was enjoying the clash between Phil Taylor and Kim Huybrechts when some of the audience spotted his likeness to the traditional portrayal of Jesus.

Chants of “Jesus” quickly spread through the rowdy crowd packed into the venue on the Butlin’s resort at Minehead on the Somerset coast.

Security staff were called amid fears that Mr Grindal’s presence was upsetting the concentration of ex-world champion Taylor and his Belgian rival.

The labourer was close to tears as six bouncers removed him from the Cash Converters Players’ Championship, which was being broadcast on ITV4.

As he left, a chant of “Stand up if you love Jesus” broke out, with many of the crowd getting to their feet.

Mr Grindal, 33, was escorted to a nearby bar where the security staff bought him a pint and told him to watch the rest of the final on television.

Absolutely the only problem with this story about darts fans spotting a Jesus look-alike in the crowd is that, far as I know, the man in question bears precisely no resemblance to popular or even unpopular depictions of Jesus Christ. Unless having hair on your head counts for being a look-alike.

The article explains all the key details, including what Grindal thought of getting ejected for doing nothing wrong. The quotes are almost as if the piece is attempting to be an Onion-type satire, but I don’t think it was. I was sure the entire This is Somerset web site must be for laughs, but it’s not. For what it’s worth, I found the story when it was picked up by ABC News.

Now, if the guy in the photo — which I went ahead and clipped from (source here) — looked like Jesus, no additional explanation would be needed. But unless there are wildly popular depictions of Jesus as a blonde man with a ginger beard, the story definitely needs to explain what in the world was going on.

It would take a lot of alcohol-fueled darts excitement to confuse this guy for Jesus, no?

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  • northcoast

    I have no idea what motivated the crowd to react the way they did, but this is not the first time that I’ve heard of someone with a beard being referred to as Jesus. Also, didn’t Max von Sydow have blond hair when he played Jesus in the movie?

  • Meggan

    Well, when people see Jesus in water stains on a window or in pieces of toast or in the bark of a tree, I guess they’ll see Jesus in this guy’s visage.

  • northcoast

    Oops! Try Jeffery Hunter, blue eyes and all in King of Kings.

  • northcoast

    I don’t really know what an English reporter would have in mind as a (Western artist’s) depiction of Jesus, but looking around one website showing paintings of Jesus I found 3 that do show a resemblance to Mr. Grindal.
    “Let Him In,” Greg Olsen
    “The Dandelion,” Greg Olsen
    “Christ and the Young Child,” Carl Bloch
    The faces are similar as are the hair length and the shape of the beards.

  • sari

    Guys, this one’s been in many houses I’ve visited.