The 11W Heart of It All Classic: Elite 8

By Jason Priestas on March 29, 2014 at 9:00a
The 11W Heart of It All Classic Elite 8 Field: Edison, the Wright brothers, Hope, Newman, Owens, Nicklaus, Grant and Sherman

Two weeks ago, we put out the call to crown the greatest Ohioan. The 11W Heart of It All Classic would be a field of 64 sons and daughters of Ohio, all of whom have left their marks on the rich history of this country in the fields of business, science, the arts, politics, the military and anything else in which man or woman excels.

66,000 votes later, we're down to the Elite 8 and closer to settling the debate of which Ohioan was the greatest, once and for all.

If you thought voting in the Sweet 16 was tough, with Thomas Edison taking on Neil Armstrong and William Tecumseh Sherman going against John Glenn, the four bouts in this round are just brutal.

Updated HOIAC Bracket (PDF) | Sweet 16 Results

The polls for this round will close at 12 a.m. Friday, April 4, with voting for the final four set to open later that morning. Bob Hope or Paul Newman? Jesse Owens or Jack Nicklaus? Yeah, good luck with that.

Business & Science: #1 Edison vs. #3 Wright Bros.

Thomas Edison: Edison was born in tiny Milan near Lake Erie in 1847. With over a thousand patents to his name, he left his mark on music, film, utility power and many other industries. He was Steve Jobs without the black turtleneck.

Edison knocked off No. 16 Jack Hanna in the opening round by a 4-to-1 margin. In the second round, he topped No. 8 Jack Warner of Warner Bros. fame with 91% of the vote. In the Sweet 16, Edison pulled out a close win over No. 4 Neil Armstrong, advancing with just 54% of the vote.

The Wright Brothers: Thanks to these two brothers from Dayton, the state of Ohio can slap "Birthplace of Aviation" on anything it damn well pleases (and it does).

Working out of their bicycle shop, the Wright brothers designed and built the world's first successful airplane and later made the first controlled, powered and "sustained heavier-than-air human flight."

The Wright brothers have steamrolled everyone in their path on the way to the Elite 8. In the opener, they crushed No. 14 Roger Ailes, taking 97% of the vote. In the second round, they destroyed No. 11 William Procter, hauling in 94% of the vote. As an underdog in the Sweet 16, the Wright brothers upset No. 2 John D. Rockefeller by a 3-to-1 margin.

The Arts: #1 Hope vs. #3 Newman

Bob Hope: Bob Hope was born in London, England in 1903, but like so many others, soon made his way to the United States via Ellis Island in 1908.

His family would settle in Cleveland and Hope was already entertaining streetcar patrons by the age of 12. When his 60-year career came to an end, Hope had appeared in 70 films, hosted the Academy Awards 14 times and earned "honorary veteran" status in the U.S. military thanks to his extensive work with the USO.

Hope rolled No. 16 R.L. Stine, taking 86% of the vote in the opening round. He'd follow it up with easy wins over No. 8 Halle Berry (83%) in the second round and No. 4 Dean Martin (78%) in the Sweet 16.

Paul Newman: A three seed in The Arts region, Paul Newman was born in Shaker Heights, just east of Cleveland, in 1925. After completing a stint with the Navy in World War II and picking up his degree from Kenyon College, Newman broke in as an actor, appearing in dozens of movies, earning six Golden Globes and an Academy Award for Best Actor in Martin Scorcese's The Color of Money in 1986.

Newman's greatest work, however, may have been his humanitarian efforts. His food company, Newman's Own, has raised over $380 million in for charity.

Newman throttled No. 14 Bootsy Collins with 91% of the vote in the opening round, and then advanced with an easy win over No. 11 Drew Carey (71%) in the second round. In the Sweet 16, Newman upset No. 2 Steven Spielberg, moving on with 51% of the vote.

Sports: #1 Owens vs. #2 Nicklaus

Jesse Owens: The "Buckeye Bullet," as he was known, was the most dominant track and field athlete of the 20th century (sorry, Carl Lewis).

As a senior in high school, Owens tied the national record for the 100, famously set four world records in 45 minutes at a meet in Ann Arbor, won a record eight individual NCAA championships – four each in 1935 and '36 – and then topped it all by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

Owens has dominated this tournament, crushing No. 16 Branch Rickey (98%) in the opening round, No. 8 Jerry Lucas (95%) in the second round and then the patron saint of Ohio State football, No. 4 Woody Hayes (72%) in the Sweet 16.

Jack Nicklaus: Sports Illustrated's Male Athlete of the 20th Century, the "Golden Bear" won the first of five straight Ohio State Junior titles at the age of 12 and then kept winning and winning.

Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur twice, an NCAA Championship and 18 majors – including six green jackets at Augusta. The 18 majors, in addition to the six victories at The Masters, are both records that appear to be safe for a long time.

In the opener, Jack knocked off No. 15 Buster Douglas, getting 97% of the vote. He followed that with a win over No. 7 Cy Young (85%) in the second round, and then topped No. 11 Archie Griffin (62%) in the Sweet 16.

Politics & Military: #1 Grant vs. #2 Sherman

Ulysses S. Grant: Former Supreme Commander of the United States Army, Ulysses S. Grant was instrumental in securing he B1G's first and only Civil War championship over the SEC.

Or to put it another way, Grant is the only man to ever force the surrender of an army of the United States (semantics).

Following his military career, Grant won election to the White House, becoming this nation's 18th president.

Grant rolled No. 9 Paul Tibbets of Enola Gay fame in the opener, with 95% of the vote. He followed that up with easy wins over No. 8 William Howard Taft (89%) in the second round and No. 4 Tecumseh (76%) in the Sweet 16.

William Tecumseh Sherman: A Big Ten and Ohio legend, Sherman replaced Grant as the Supreme Commander of the United States Army. A supreme tactician, it was Sherman who convinced Grant to let him deviate from the script and bring "total war" to Georgia. Georgia would later howl.

It was Sherman's scorched-earth "March to the Sea" that broke the Confederacy's back, ending the four-year-old Civil War and saving thousands of additional lives.

Sherman went total war on his first round opponent, No. 16 John Rankin to the tune of 91% of the vote. No. 7 George Custer, Sherman's second round foe, had it even worse, going down with just 9% of the vote. In the Sweet 16, Sherman topped fan favorite John Glenn, the three seed, pulling in 56% of the vote.


Comments Show All Comments

RedStorm45's picture

Too many good choices, it will be tough.

Knarcisi's picture

Very strong 1 seeds. 

InTressITrust's picture

Bob Hope dotted the I and Sherman marched to the Sea. Nuff said

"I'm not going to lie. We're anxious to be a part of a matchup like that. It's two states that love the game of football." -Jim Tressel

+3 HS
route4buckeye's picture

Wright Brothers, Newman, Nicholas, and Sherman.

+4 HS
BuckFly's picture

History repeats, Gen. Sherman steps aside for Gen. Grant. 

"I will accept no commission that would tend to create a rivalry with Grant. I want him to hold what he has earned and got. I have all the rank I want."

Gen. Ulysses S. Grant advances to the Final Four. 

+11 HS
Bucksfan's picture

Can't believe Jack is getting slaughtered this badly.


+1 HS
jeremytwoface's picture


Jesse Owens had such a profound impact on the entire world... It's hard not to vote for him.

And when we win the game, we'll buy a keg of boooooooooze!! And we'll drink to old Ohio 'till we wobble in our shoes.

+3 HS
Bradyhokescholesterol's picture

Owens, Wright Bros., Paul Newman, Grant. I almost didn't vote for the Wright Brothers because they weren't born in Ohio, but come on, Airplanes? That overcomes being born in Indiana. I want to claim that one.

+1 HS
Jason Priestas's picture

Well, Orville was born in Dayton. And Wilbur was living there by the time he was three.

OSUStu's picture

Those are 8 fantastic choices. Wright Bros., Hope, Owens, and Grant.

If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.  ~ Bruce Lee

+2 HS
krodawg's picture

My ballot reads the same STU.

+1 HS
Young_Turk's picture

Cool Hand Luke all the way.  Read up about his Hole-in-the-Wall camps.

The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was founded in 1988 by Paul Newman with one simple premise in mind, that every child, no matter their illness, could experience the transformational spirit and friendships that go hand in hand with camp.

Paul Newman, while a successful actor, was also a visionary with the heart of a child. His personality, playfulness and mischievousness are infused within every corner of Camp, from the pirate flag he raised on the tree house to the days he spent on the lake fishing with campers. 

With unobtrusive expert medical care, it was Paul’s dream that Camp would provide seriously ill children with a fun-filled experience defined by compassion, laughter and acceptance.




+3 HS
ScarletNGrey01's picture

You had me at "Jesse Owens" but this was icing on the cake:

famously set four world records in 45 minutes at a meet in Ann Arbor

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

+1 HS
jbuckeye007's picture

"Ferry Field still stands. Outside the track a plaque commemorates Owens’ record-shattering day. It is, perhaps, the ultimate compliment in college sports that a University of Michigan athletic facility continues to honor the achievements of an Ohio State Buckeye."


+1 HS
KBonay's picture

Newman in Slapshot skating around goalie Hanrahan mocking his wife's sexual preference. I can't vote against that. Ever. 

+2 HS
Oakland Buckeye's picture

Wrights, Hope, Nicklaus, Sherman

Picking Wrights to win whole thing - but Owens looms as the potential winner - & rightfully so

Torpedo Vegas's picture

Can we please just eliminate Edison already everybody?

+2 HS
JBuckeye's picture

Seriously? There would be no Wright bros if there was no Edison. No light bulb, no power generation= no airplane. No way you can not vote for Edison!

+1 HS
Torpedo Vegas's picture

He just doesn't have the same Ohio cred as a Wright Bros. or a Neil Armstrong, especially with that whole Michigan background. They didn't call him the Wizard of Milan after all. That's not even considering his questionable business ethics. 

+2 HS
rdubs's picture

He also was waaaaay off in the whole DC/AC power debate.

+2 HS
William's picture

This. Edison redesigned the light bulb, Tesla basically did the groundwork for most of the technological innovations that occurred in the late19th/early 20th century, like the use of AC over DC, and his countless work with radio waves. Edison could never get over the fact that Tesla was more brilliant than him. Of course Tesla was practically insane, but man was he also brilliant. 

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

There's a fine line between brilliance and madness, they say.

jenks's picture

There were no light bulbs on the Wright Flyer.

Edison was good, but he is given way too much credit over some of his contemporaries.

+2 HS
NC_Buckeye's picture

Here is something that might persuade you guys to vote for Sherman. His men's nickname for him was "Uncle Billy". They would often shout it out to him as he rode by. And he liked it.

+1 HS
419BuckI's picture

There is no way a person thought of by most as being from Michigan should even be in this tournament!  Thomas Edison was a thief, a rotten human being and worst of all a Michigander! I am ashamed that this fine Buckeye board eliminated Armstrong. Also, Paul Newman deserves to take out BobHope. Bob Hope was a great humanitarian, but as an entertainer he couldn't touch Paul Newman. Butch, Luke, Eddie, and Regie Dunlap are some of the greatest characters in movie history.

+2 HS
Young_Turk's picture

True:  When was Bob Hope ever funny?  Or original?  I get that he did a bunch of USO shows, but that pales in comparison to all the charitable contributions of CHL.  


-1 HS
Crumb's picture

We sent General Sherman and Atlanta's still burnin!!!

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+1 HS
PittBuckeye's picture

These are too close, all good choices. Jack should be closer though.

ohst8buxCP's picture

The march to the sea by Sherman gives him the win imo. Screw the SEC

+1 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

Wright Brothers figured out how to make a humans fly.  They paved the way for Glenn to walk in space and Neil to walk on the moon. I have always been an Edison fan, but others figured out electricity too, the phonograph was an accident, and being good at buying ideas and patents should only go so far. Props for movies, life would be much more lame with out pictures, but, he moved his business to NJ and CA in stead of staying here.

Grant "forced" Sherman to say "Uncle" on American soil and kept us Ohioans from being SEC. "That's all I have to say about that".

Jack is a Buckeye through and through.  If you haven't walked his museum, you should.  Not making his relative choose us showed class and he made the OSU golf course one of the toughest in the College world.

Hope / Newman was tough, but I had to take Newman because of the various career choices, movies made and the philanthrophy. I know Bob dotted the "i", Newman would have , had he the years Bob was around. Truthfully, these 2 could have been the final.

Go Bucks!

Buckeye Chuck's picture

Owens vs. Nicklaus is almost an impossible choice: two men of world-historical status in sports that are contested all over the world.

But I voted for the one who stuck it to Hitler.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+2 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

Agree.  But given the opportunity, I think Jack would have happily taken his driver to Hitler's face.

+1 HS
HistoryBuff's picture

Sherman was good, but nervous; Grant was better, and cool. GRANT! GRANT! GRANT!


+1 HS
William's picture

Grant wasn't better. His only tactic was "Herp derp frontal assault." That hardly makes him a good general, and much more of a butcher. 

yrro's picture

On the other hand, Sherman's strategy would have been considered a war crime if he lost.

William's picture

War crime? He didn't murder innocents. He did absolutely destroy all infrastructure, but that does not equate to a war crime. 

Go1Bucks's picture

Grant is worshipped by millions of people every single day the form of a $50 bill.

Go Bucks!

+1 HS
William's picture

And Andrew Jackson, the man that oversaw the ethnic cleansing and forced removal of several Indian nations from the Southeast is on the $20 bill. Just because you're on our currency doesn't make you a good person, or a role model. 

+1 HS
Go1Bucks's picture

Just because your opinion differs, doesn't make you right.

"Lighten up, Francis"

Go Bucks!

+1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

From the words of Neil Armstrong are the reasons why I think the Wright Brothers should win it all.  "Science is about what is, engineering is about what can be."

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

William's picture

How on earth are people voting for Grant over Sherman? A general that sent his men to their deaths in countless droves, or a man whose tactics have been revered by military historians for over a century?

AndyVance's picture

You've obviously done a bit more research on the subject, so I'm curious: does one account for Grant's apparent success (after a string of huge embarrassing failures from his predecessors) by simply accounting for the attrition of the enemy? Or was Grant correct that the only way for the North to win at the stage in which he took command was to simply overwhelm and outlast the Rebels?

William's picture

Grant was a good strategist, he knew that the South could not sustain the casualties that the North could, and that they could not produce like the industrious North, so his strategy of overwhelming the Confederates was right. It was his in-battle decisions, or tactics that left a lot to be desired, he was famous for ordering frontal assault after frontal assault, which eventually worked, but its efficiency was severely lacking. Sherman was much more tactically brilliant, and was a good strategist himself (he even suggested seizing the Mississippi, Cumberland, and Tennessee rivers at the beginning of the war to splinter the Confederacy). Sherman never had a Cold Harbor disaster like Grant, and was not known for sending his men to their deaths in droves like Grant, that's what places Sherman above Grant for me. Sherman saved the Union's bacon at the Battle of Shiloh, by running an organized retreat after the surprise Confederate attack, instead of a mad scramble, and by then leading an effective counterattack the next day. If it weren't for him, Shiloh would have been a complete disaster for the Union.  

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

That squares with my reading as well - I just wanted to prove for clarity because your previous post was much more... succinct... with regard to General Grant's legacy. Good thoughts, Sir.

+1 HS