Many readers have noticed a similarity to Rick Reilly®'s latest 800-and-out offering about fan loyalty and one the Sports Fella wrote in 2002, but considering that Reilly doesn't ever read Simmons (too many words!) it's unlikely he lifted it.
At one point, though, you'd think that ESPN editors (or Reilly®) would make sure his recycled bag of sports zaniness hasn't already been written by a.) The Artist Formerly Known As Rick Reilly or b.) Bill Simmons, if only to quiet those readers who enjoy stoking the imaginary rivalry between the two of them.