11W Heart of It All Classic Finals: The Wright Brothers vs. Jesse Owens

By Jason Priestas on April 7, 2014 at 10:35a
The Wright brothers face Jesse Owens in the finals of 11W's Heart of It All Classic
104 Comments

UPDATE 4/8 – 7:55 a.m. At midnight Monday, when the poll was to close, the Wright brothers held a 381-380 lead over Jesse Owens, so that calls for a 24-hour runoff. Voting for the championship of the 11W Heart of It All Classic will now end at 12 a.m., Wednesday, April 9.


Five weeks after we put out the call to crown the greatest Ohioan, we're down to the championship. From 64 of the finest sons and daughters of Ohio, Jesse Owens and the Wright brothers have emerged and your vote will settle this debate, once and for all.

Updated HOIAC Bracket | Results by Round

The people you voted not Ohio's greatest is ridiculously impressive: Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, Bob Hope, Steven Spielberg, Paul Newman, Jack Nicklaus, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong and others are names that will be remembered forever. That the champion of this event won't come from that list says everything you need to know about the greatness of Ohio.

The Wright brothers have been nothing short of dominant. Although just a No. 3 in the Business & Science Region, they've handled all comers – save for one – with at least 75% of the vote. That comer? Thomas Edison, the No. 1 seed in the region – and the Wrights still knocked him out in the Elite 8 with nearly 60% of the vote.

Ditto with Owens. His list of vanquished foes reads: the guy that broke baseball's color barrier, perhaps the greatest basketball player to come out of the state of Ohio, the patron saint of Ohio State football, Sports Illustrated's Male Athlete of the 20th Century and the general that won the United States Civil War. Only Grant closed within striking distance but Owens made his free throws at the end for a comfortable win.

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).

RD Opponent Vote
1 No. 14 Roger Ailes 97%
2 No. 11 William Procter 94%
S16 No. 2 John D. Rockefeller 76%
E8 No. 1 Thomas Edison 58%
FF No. 1 Bob Hope 84%

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 first recorded flight took place on December 17, 1903 at Kill Devil Hills on North Carolina's Outer Banks. At 10:35 a.m., Orville flew the Wright Flyer I for 12 seconds and a distance of 120 feet. They would fly three more times that day, with the final flight in the air for 59 seconds and 852 feet.

The account of their flight was hotly contested – particularly in France – but the Wrights had demonstrated controlled and powered flight. While Europe was caught up in building what were essentially rocket-powered gliders, the Wrights gave the pilot a means to steer. That three-axis control is still the standard for fixed-wing aircraft to this day.

Jesse Owens

The "Buckeye Bullet," as Jesse Owens was known, was the most dominant track and field athlete of the 20th century.

RD Opponent Vote
1 No. 16 Branch Rickey 98%
2 No. 8 Jerry Lucas 95%
S16 No. 4 Woody Hayes 72%
E8 No. 2 Jack Nicklaus 73%
FF No. 1 Ulysses S. Grant 59%

As a senior at Cleveland's East Technical High School, Owens burst onto the scene after tying the world record of 9.4 seconds in the 100-yard dash. As a senior in high school.

Two years later, Owens was winning his first four NCAA championships as a sprinter for Ohio State. He would equal the feat the following year, in 1936, winning four more NCAA championships. The eight individual NCAA championships stand as a record that hasn't come close to being broken.

Later that summer, Owens competed for the United States at the Summer Olympics in Berlin. After taking gold in the 100, 200, the long jump and the 4x100 relay, the Nazi myth of Aryan racial superiority became something of a joke in athletics.

Owens is best remembered for what most consider to be the greatest 45 minutes in the history of sport. At Ferry Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the 1935 Big Ten Championships, Owens set three world records and equaled another. A plaque – on the University of Michigan campus – commemorating his performance stands outside the field today. Let that sink in.

104 Comments

Comments

otrain2416's picture

Well you got the guys that invented flight vs the man who flies on the track. Both great choices, but I'm going with the Wright brothers.

+7 HS
hodge's picture

I'll take the godfathers of aviation, without question.

#Daytonbias

+9 HS
BoFuquel's picture

Engineering vs. sports: LOL. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

+2 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

Jesse Owens is more than just sports, though.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+1 HS
Flyermike's picture

This is tough, but think about this:  Which of the two options have impacted you in some way?  Have you been on an airplane recently or had something "overnighted" for work?  I am not trying to diminish the accomplishments of Owens, but they are just that, individual accomplishments.  I obviously have a little bias here, but Jesse Owen is still a boss.

Ohio is pretty much the best state ever.

+7 HS
DJ Byrnes's picture

There's only one Jesse Owens. *casts ballot*

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Nik's picture

That's not true. There's Jesse Owens North, South, and West

+25 HS
Homey1970's picture

FWIW, I made 13 3s in a row one time in Jesse Owens North

+1 HS
BucksfanXC's picture

I had sex with Eartha Kitt in an airplane bathroom. What? It came up organically.

All jokes aside, I also often brag that the one pick-up game I played there makes me 100% from the field at Indiana's Assembly Hall, with 3 rebounds and 4 assists.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

+1 HS
Homey1970's picture

I think I was playing a pick-up game against my 4'10" sister...we were Drackett Dwellers!

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Can never be wrong when voting for Wright.

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

+5 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

If the Wright brothers win, should we have a vote for who is the greater Wright brother, Orville or Wilbur?

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

+3 HS
BHT's picture

I like it. Let's make this happen!

bodast67's picture

Next to Archie Griffin, Jesse Owens is my favorite Ohio son.

Having said that however, I got to go with the brothers who invented flight as it's impact has been felt globally ever since.

 

 

 

     " I hope when I die, I die laughing"...                

BucksfanXC's picture

Well I don't expect too many arguments in these comments because no one who votes is wrong.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

+2 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

Especially if they're Wright.

I'm going to withhold my vote in protest of the elimination of Grant. Civil War, people! It was kind of important.

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

+6 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

I voted for the Wright Bros, but if OSU gets revenge over Dayton I'm ok with that too.

+4 HS
stittracer99's picture

I've looked at all sides of the coin on this one. Ultimately, I voted for Owens. Not to take anything away from the Wright brothers, but somebody would have eventually invented the airplane. Owens put the Blitzkreig on Hitler in his own house

+4 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

The Wright brothers have made a bigger impact for sure. Other states can also lay claim to some if that. That's why my vote goes for Owens. 

+2 HS
Nappy's picture

Those other states are wrong

Fan of bacon since 1981

+6 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

True. It's an argument nonetheless. 

Nappy's picture

Do you consider Apple an American company or a Chinese company?

Fan of bacon since 1981

+2 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

American. 

I'm just stating a fact. It's an argument. I never said I would argue it. 

Buckeye5000's picture

Your right N. Carolina actually has "First in Flight" on their license plates. At least they used to. Trying to horn in on Ohio's accomplishment.

Go Bucks!

DoubleB's picture

Wright Bros all the way. Like all here love me some Owens, but Orville & Wilbur's accomplishments are far reaching.

I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over.
-Joey Bosa

+3 HS
Ahh Saturday's picture

I'm not great with history, but I'm pretty sure Jesse Owens single-handedly defeated the Nazis in WWII.  There was some running involved, as I recall.

+9 HS
lwitters's picture

Dude basically stomped on Hitler's colon.

Seattle Linga's picture

Both parties have so many strengths - kind of like saying which one of your children you love more.

+1 HS
TUNBUCK89's picture

That one is easy! Always the youngest one !!!

d1145fresh's picture

Very tough choice. I went Wright Brothers simply because I think more people associate Ohio with them than people associate Ohio with Owens. Since we are looking for the greatest "Ohioan" the WB's get my vote.

+1 HS
One Bad Buckeye's picture

Owens would get the vote if I were an emotional voter, but seriously people.....

"Guy who ran track" (albeit an african american showing the arians that they're the ones who were actually inferior..... IN Nazi era Berlin) or "Dudes who are responsible for making the age old fantasy of human flight a reality".  

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

BuckeyeDale's picture

I'd hate to have to say the Greatest Ohioan ran up here from Alabama.

 
BuckeyeDale
GO BUCKS!!

dmurder's picture

Jesse Owens who has his own plaque at Michigan Stadium.

Who beat the nazi's and Hitler. 

Sorry, but i got to go with the legend Jesse Owens

 

FOUR WORLD RECORDS

 

"We have always had the best damn band in the land, now we have the best damn team in the land"- Jim Tressel 1-03-03

+3 HS
allinosu's picture

Alabama is proud of you.

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Just cast a tying vote (143 all).

This being an athletic site and all...

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

OSUStu's picture

It pains me because I love Jesse Owens.  But I have to go with the Wright Bros...even though being two people is kind of like cheating.

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

+1 HS
jedkat's picture

DAT STASH

"I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over"

~ Joey Bosa

German Buckeye's picture

Love sports but the societal impact much greater on Wright Bros side. Voting for the bros

+1 HS
TMac's picture

IF the Wright brother's prevail, they will have beaten Three #1 seeds......

+2 HS
Art Harrell's picture

Mr. President, I cast my vote for-Jesse Owens-----------zooooooooooooooooooooom fast--------Go Bucks

ULuvLucy's picture

Man, the votes are really close right now. My mock up had Owens going all the way, so even though it came by a completely different route, I'm gonna stick with the man who showed Hitler who's boss and left a permanent mark on M*ch*g@n Stadium.

BrutusBlock O

Ethos's picture

The Dude made Hitler look like the fool he was.  Easy choice.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Nappy's picture

The Wright Brothers invented a machine that everyone thought was physically impossible to build.  It'd be like me building a Hoverboard.

Fan of bacon since 1981

+2 HS
AndyVance's picture

It'd be like me building a Hoverboard.

Umm, if you could get to work on that, that'd be great. Faster, please.

Nappy's picture

Shame on me.  I was off work the last 6 weeks and all I did was watch Netflix. 

Fan of bacon since 1981

AndyVance's picture

Yeah, crap like that is probably why we don't have flying cars yet, either. Thank God the Wright Brothers didn't have Netflix, huh?

+1 HS
Idaho Helga's picture

Jesse Owens !!!!! 
 

ohiowhitesnake's picture

I just broke the tie. 273-272 for the Wright Brothers. What a close race...no wrong choice here. 

Deadly Nuts's picture

I just broke a tie... Letz go James Cleveland Owens!

LEBRON

teddyballgame's picture

If voting for Jessie is wrong, then I don't want to be Wright.

+6 HS
RBuck's picture

I'll settle for co-champs.

"It's just another case of there you are". ~ Doc (1918-2012)

+1 HS
Crumb's picture

Live just down the road from Dayton and would go the Air Force Museum all the time as a kid, wanting nothing more than to be a pilot (then I grew up to be 6'5") Wright brothers!!!

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

+1 HS
RevJameson's picture

I just voted. The Wright Brothers had 283. Jesse Owens had 285.

bukyze's picture

Had to go with Jesse.  Very difficult choice.  Damn, this is going right down to the wire.

 

Deadly Nuts's picture

Jesse pulling ahead! Up six at the moment.

LEBRON

BHT's picture

I am an aviation enthusiast.I love anything and everything about planes. SO it pains my to do this, but I vote for Owens. I am sorry Orville and Wilbur, without whom I may not have such a hobby for, but Owens is a special Buckeye, and a special Ohioan.

brandonbauer87's picture

The fact that the Wright brothers were not the first to attempt flight makes this easier. They're recognized as the first successful flight, but even that is argued by some. They get major bonus points for executing the idea, but it's not like they started from scratch. I'm proud to say they're from Ohio, and their achievements are great. It's very likely that someone else would have figured it out soon after without them. Let's not act like there would be no modern airplanes without Orville and Wilbur. 

+1 HS
JakeBuckeye's picture

Devil's Advocate:

Let's not act like widespread racism and the Nazi "arian" mindset would still be alive without Jesse Owens.

Your argument is a bit silly. Yes, obviously flight would have happened eventually without Orville and Wilbur, but the same could be said for Owens' achievements. You can try and downplay someone's achievements by saying someone else would have/could have stepped in their place eventually, but their achievements still stand. The Wright Bros are the ones that actually DID it.

+2 HS
brandonbauer87's picture

Absolutely correct.

Jesse Owens did more than prove Hitler wrong. You could say that's an equal achievement to his records. What did the Wright brothers do to equal the accomplishment of flying?

There's no wrong answer here, I just think the Wright brothers get a little more respect than due based on the overly public nature of their achievements. At the end of the day, you're splitting hairs. 

DannyBeane's picture

Cashing in my Dayton card. I'm all in on the Wright Brothers.

Jason Priestas's picture

Seven hours after voting started and one vote separates the two. #ohio

Knarcisi's picture

Wow, gonna go to the wire. Will depend which one has Aaron Harrison on their team. 

+1 HS
Johnny Ginter's picture

im writing an article about jesse owens for tomorrow so you idiots better not screw this one up

Jabba the Hoke's picture

I'd write another about the Wright Bros just in case.

+2 HS
FitzBuck's picture

342-342.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

Knarcisi's picture

Deadlocked again at 371. 

BeijingBucks's picture

That 'in your face' moment with Hitler... the ultimate #karma moment got me.

besides I fly for work every week and really hate cramped planes.  I blame the Wright brothers for delaying the star trek transporter thingy decades with their silly flying thing

 

 

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

+2 HS
HailChiefWahoo's picture

Man, this is intense! Voted for the bros to give them a 3 point lead. 381-378.

Knarcisi's picture

Wen does the voting end?

Poison nuts's picture

Lived in Dayton for 3 years, love the Wright boys & I love flying, but took the heart route on this one & went with Jesse. Neither is a bad choice. Owens is a huge hero for me. Part of the reason is my heritage & part of the reason is just because he was such a badass. Still close, don't know when voting ends, but I'm hoping for Jesse to win on more time...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

BGSUBucksFan's picture

So how exactly do you vote?  Is this one of the things locked down to subscribers?

Young_Turk's picture

Write in ballot for Cool Hand Luke...

What do we do now?

Nuthin!

 

Jason Priestas's picture

See the update at the top of the piece. Because just one vote separated the Wright brothers and Jesse Owens at midnight, we're going to a 24-hour runoff. The poll will now close at 12 a.m., Wednesday, April 9.

BGSUBucksFan's picture

How do you vote, is it subscribers only?

Jason Priestas's picture

You should just be able to click on the image of the person you want to vote for. What browser are you using?

BGSUBucksFan's picture

Got it.  The voting images weren't displaying at all on my work computer.  Corporate security at its finest!

rosycheeks's picture

Wright Bro's by 1. And it looks like I was able to vote on two different devices -- have I uncovered a flaw in the system, or was this vote designed by Illinois politicians?

+2 HS
OSUStu's picture

was this vote designed by Illinois politicians?

If it was, DJ would have already paid Harding's way to the win.

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

+1 HS
dan_isaacs's picture

Jesse.  Because Fuck the Nazis.

Dan Isaacs

MordenoftheSith's picture

So I'm going to be "that guy" and call shenanigans.  Wright Bros. had 1 more vote at the time of alleged closing, but clearly folks want Owens to win.  Why not just come out and say it.  The extra time for politicking has afforded Owens a significant jump in votes.

Wright Bros won fair and square, Owens will win with help.

If you only knew the POWER of the Dark Side.

Jason Priestas's picture

No dog in this one. Both would be excellent winners. I just felt like a one-vote difference (0.13%) called for a runoff.

BGSUBucksFan's picture

Gotta agree with you on this one.  This is like saying, "Oh, that UConn-Kentucky game was pretty close once time expired, so let's add another 10 minutes to regulation."

HouseHarleyBuilt's picture

I would've gone with the Wright Bros...but they took their talents to a South Beach (Kitty Hawk). That's why LeBron will never win this competition. Jesse Owens gave us 8 NCAA Championships. And vanquished 2 of Americas all time greatest foes...Hitler and Ann Arbor.

+1 HS
Jabba the Hoke's picture

Taking their talents to Kitty Hawk is like saying Owens took his talents to Ann Arbor or Berlin

+1 HS
HouseHarleyBuilt's picture

Saying the Wright Brothers invented flight or were the first to fly, is like saying Brady Hoke is a good football coach...it just doesn't add up. They invented three-axis control. What Jesse Owens achieved has and will never be duplicated. What the Wright Bros achieved was going to be achieved anyway, they just beat others to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud to call them Ohioans, I'm just way more proud of Jesse.

jedkat's picture

Saying the Wright Brothers invented flight or were the first to fly, is like saying Brady Hoke is a good football coach...it just doesn't add up. They invented three-axis control. 

 

Really? they invented 3 axis control? that's it?

They invented their wind tunnel to design the correct curvature of the wing to provide sustained adequate lift. They invented their own engine that was strong enough and light enough, They were the first to figure out that a propeller was a wing turned sideways and not a screw (like boat propellers) and figured out the decreasing angle of attack ratio on the propellers. They invented wing warping as a means of control (which DARPA and NASA have now realized is a much more efficient and stable means of control versus an aileron).

They created the first flying school and personally trained Henry "Hap" Arnold who was in charge of the Army Air Forces in WWII (yeah, planes kind of had a huge role in ending the war, right?) and huge proponent to creating the air force.

Should I keep going?

So, in summation, Brady Hoke still sucks as a coach, and the Wright Brothers did more than invent 3 axis control. I voted for Jesse all the way, but there is a reason Wright-Patterson AFB is where it is and why the world is now infinitely smaller.

http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/Wright/airplane/planes.html

http://wrightstories.com/propeller-design-demonstrates-the-genius-of-the-wright-brothers/

 

"I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over"

~ Joey Bosa

+5 HS
HouseHarleyBuilt's picture

I respect your opinion, and appreciate you informing me of some interesting facts about the Wright Bros. However, I did not claim that they ONLY invented three axis control. I just said they didn't invent flight. Please excuse me for mis-speaking. Maybe next time, you could be less confrontational and treat me and anyone else you disagree with like they are human beings as well. But, there are no hard feelings. We are all prone to lapses in judgment.

+1 HS
jedkat's picture

Nice backhanded insult at the end, well played and a +1 to you. To be fair, when you lump everything in with Brady Hoke it does sound rather dismissive.

I was not trying to be confrontational, I apologize that it read that way although I'm not sure the quizzical "?!??!!!?" punctuation instead of a singular question mark would have read any better. Aviation history was a large part of my education and i'm protective of my Wright Brothers' achievements. If I was trying to be confrontational I would  give myself the ban-hammer. 

So let me ask you this as an open discussion. If the Wrights didn't invent flight (heavier than air, powered, sustained, controlled), like you stated, who did?

"I was tired of trying to work my way around the back, so I just ran him over"

~ Joey Bosa

+1 HS
Jabba the Hoke's picture

Can't go wrong with either choice, I was just pointing out the obvious flaw in your "taking their talent" argument. If North Carolina is the "birthplace of flight" then Ann Arbor is responsible for Jesse Owens setting world records. You have to see the flaw in logic there.

+2 HS
HouseHarleyBuilt's picture

I see your point, definitely. The only counter-argument I have is that he was representing Ohio State in Ann Arbor. The Wright Brothers didn't exactly achieve their successes to make Ohio proud. But, as I admitted, my bias lies with Jesse Owens. So, can't blame a guy for trying to sway some votes.

Go1Bucks's picture

Had no choice but go to Kitty. They needed sustained updrafts for their theory of Flight to work. Duh. First time you try to get a car to fly, you want constant wind. Where would you go?

Go Bucks!

Kasino Royale's picture

I'm with HouseHarlyBuilt. Great inventions no doubt but not like everyone is making it out to be. I'll also add I wonder what Jesse Owens track times would of been if he had run on a modern track surface. Think about that for a second. 

allinosu's picture

Never be duplicated. Didn't Mark Spitz win 8 gold in 68. His time was wind aided and wasn't recognized so maybe not so much faster.

Deadly Nuts's picture

lol @ the bunch gettin butthurt over an internet poll....

LEBRON

allinosu's picture

Look up gold metalists by state and you will find him under Alabama. He was there until he was nine. He was a great human being, American and Buckeye but not Ohioan. We seem to be the only state that recognize him as ours. We get players every year out of state that do great things and we recognize the as buckeyes but not Ohioans. By the way where are you in Illinois?

Buckeye in Illini country's picture
I assume so

I'm in Urbana-Champaign for grad school.

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

allinosu's picture

St. Francisville

Crumb's picture

I was just thinking are there any particular people who happen to be from our state that we would happily export (other than Hoke, Desmond Howard, and Charles Woodson) I know that U of M have had scUM of the earth come through there like H.H. Holmes and the Unabomber.

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

BuckeyeDale's picture

SEC SEC (sarcasm font)  We don't have any great people from Ohio, so we have to elect an Alabama transplant...

 
BuckeyeDale
GO BUCKS!!