It's time to crown the greatest Ohioan.
You don't need me to tell you that Ohio is an awesome state. Perhaps the perfect state, even.
And the sons and daughters of Ohio have left their marks on the rich history of this country in the fields of business, science, the arts, sports, politics, the military and anything else in which man or woman excels.
In the spirit of March Madness, we've assembled 64 entrants for The 11W Heart of It All Classic, and we're going to settle the debate of which Ohioan was the greatest, once and for all.
Entrants were required to satisfy one of these conditions for eligibility: 1) they were born in Ohio 2) they graduated high school in Ohio or 3) they spent the majority of their adult life in Ohio.
While this provides a strong field – the top seeds are Thomas Edison, Bob Hope, Jesse Owens and Ulysses S. Grant – it does exclude some that are claimed by the state. For instance, Harriet Beecher Stowe spent only 18 years of her adult life in Ohio, so she doesn't qualify. Besides, she wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin while living in Connecticut.
With that said, here are the seeds in each region:
|BUSINESS & SCIENCE
|POLITICS & MILITARY
|Ulysses S. Grantw
|John D. Rockefellerw
|The Wright Bros.w
|William Howard Taftw
|Charles Martin Hallw
|Ken Griffey Jr.w
|Salmon P. Chasew
|Warren G. Hardingw
We'll kick things off Monday, Mar. 17 with voting in the Business + Science and The Arts regions. On Tuesday, we'll open up Sports and Politics + Military.
On Saturday, we'll open up the second round of voting and then start each successive round with the corresponding round of the NCAA Tournament.
Here's the bracket (click for a printable version):
Some of those first-round matchups will be fun to watch, like LeBron James vs. Archie Griffin. On any other site in the world, LeBron likely crushes Archie. But on 11W? And does there really have to be a loser when Paul Newman faces Bootsy Collins?
Remember to stop by to vote early and often, beginning tomorrow morning. You'll want to be able to tell your grandchildren about your role in this.
A quick note about Urban Meyer: Meyer would have qualified for this field in the Sports region, but we decided to keep him out of the tournament. You know, so it would be fair to the other 63 entrants.