Did ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons Lift Blogger’s Idea?

Chris Mottram of SBNation.com points out an interesting coincidence between an ESPN.com Bill Simmons piece today and a post written by SBNation’s Andrew Sharp the previous day.

Bill Simmons

Sharp noted on Thursday that Titans’ running back Chris Johnson would probably be enjoying more celebrity if he had a more unconventional name. Simmons the next day? Same. Graf comparison after the jump.

Did Bill Simmons lift SBNation.com blogger’s idea about Chris Johnson?

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Simmons today:

Chris Johnson has become this generation’s Barry Sanders, only he doesn’t seem to be resonating the same way. You know what kills him? Bad name. “Chris Johnson” is boring. He could be anyone. Now, if his name were Crispus Johnson? Home run. He’d have reached Barry status two months ago.

Sharp yesterday:

Maybe it’s because of his name. Yeah, probably his name. “Chris Johnson.” It sounds silly, but part of greatness is mystique, and a name goes a long way toward myth-making. Like, “Randy Moss” just sounds like someone that was born to be a superstar.

If the Titans running back, were named, say, Jamario Moon, maybe he’d be more famous. Even if he were named Chris John-ston, there’d be more of that mystique. It sounds stupid, I know, but really: “Chris Johnson?” Is that a white linebacker for Penn State? Can we have a mulligan on the Chris Johnson naming process? Or maybe he could just switch names with Lendale White for the next ten years. That’d work too.

Mottram, who detected the similarity, writes, “Probably just a coincidence. Yeah. Definitely a coincidence. Great minds, and all that.

Hard to disagree with Mottram’s assessment. (”Definitely a coincidence.“)

To my knowledge Simmons has never been cited for this sort of thing before.

Kinda like someone else we know.

*UPDATE* (6:31p PT): Simmons responds via Twitter:

Bill Simmons Tweet Denies Lifting SBNation Blogger's Idea

Fair enough. Given his track record, I’ll defer to Simmons on this one.