United By Sports At Every Level – Guest Feature by John

Well, SmallWorld friends, it’s been a while. Fun things have been in the works, and one of them is here right now!

I’ve collaborated with John, a good friend of mine and fellow blogger, to allow him to give his perspective on what soccer is truly about. You’ll enjoy hearing from him and getting a break from my poor jokes, and if for some reason, you legitimately do miss my writing (ngl I’m not counting on it), I’ve done a guest post on his blog as well.

If you’d like to read that, here’s the link:

But without further ado, here is John’s take on the Beautiful Game.

If you are wondering, no I am not the man and soccer lover you know in Danny Kotula, my name is John Tomlinson. In a team up kind of fashion, Danny and I have come together to write an excerpt on each other’s blog concerning the combinations of our two blog inspiration’s; his, SmallWorld Soccer, and mine Around The Horn. As all of you know, Danny is quite invested in the lower leagues of soccer and his passion behind the game. For myself writing to the audience of “SmallWorld Soccer,” I come from the background of big name baseball in the MLB. 

The beauty of these two sports is that first of all, it takes smart people to watch them. In the U.S. people don’t always love soccer because there is not enough scoring, commonly so in baseball people HATE watching a 1-1 pitchers duel. So to you soccer fans over here, I can relate. Having been a baseball player my whole life and seeing the game the way I have since I fell in love with it as a child, comments like these can be frustrating from a crowd that JUST. DOESN’T. GET. IT.

The beautiful thing about these sports and even in our blogs is the range and size of which Danny and I are both focused on opposite ends, Danny on the lower leagues, myself on the big leagues. 

But, as I have grown to know the game of soccer, I have fallen in love with it. In no way close to the way that Danny has, but it started with a respect of the sport, and having friends who played in high school. Soccer is the kind of sport that, similar to baseball, when there is finally a score it is a BIG deal.

In my studies at Lipscomb University, our Men’s Soccer team made a Sweet 16 run my Freshmen year (2018). The coolest part during this amazing feat that began in the season, was working alongside productions on campus with athletics, and helping produce broadcasts so friends and family could watch online.

While doing this, I got to know several of the players when having classes with them, commenting on their performances from the night before with a compliment, and they took notice of that. A big say and part in all of this as well was that some of these student athletes come from other countries, and with our help their family could watch whenever.

In this learning period though, I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE GAME OF SOCCER. Every second you are watching looking for a goal, an amazing save, an upset or whatever it may be. 

From any point, whatever your passion may be in sports, the point of my long background story is that if you have a heart for sports. Learn to respect the game in the same way that you hope others will respect yours. 

The game of soccer is starting to take countries like the United States by STORM. And even teams like Nashville Soccer Club, here in Tennessee not far from Lipscomb University’s campus, is making waves in the soccer community. 

These sports at every level bring in a certain crowd, an audience that has a fire, passion and spirit that you brought onto the pitch for the first time in your life at some point as well. In the same way, soccer is uniting people from lower league to MLS, all the way to turning eyes towards our Women’s National team, or even the Men’s National team who played in the CONCACAF Gold Cup here at Nissan Stadium this past summer. 

Whether from high school when you played, watching in college, or it being the first game you went to when you were a kid. Allow that passion and fire to be what continues to bring you out to minor league games for whatever sport you support in looking to a brighter passion and understanding for those who you root for. 

It’s been an honor and a blessing to write to you Soccer guys.

The game is such a beautiful sport to me full of finesse, power, strength, and skill,

It offers beautiful teamwork and effort on both sides of the ball, unmatched by other sports.

Keep it real Soccer Stars, and if any of you keep baseball on your doorstep, check me out at “Around The Horn” and make sure to follow me and let me know your thoughts on my social or email. 

All of those links can be found on my contacts page.

John Tomlinson

IG: @isitbcimbatman

TW: @Johnlt10


By danny kotula

danny kotula is an aspiring sports writer and play-by-play commentator. unfortunately, he is not good at either one. his interests include watching soccer and listening to obscure music genres, and those aren’t even his most boring ones. he was born in Tacoma, Washington but has called South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, California, Georgia, and Costa Rica home over the course of his life. he generally knows where to put a comma, which is by far his most redeeming quality. he is writing this in third person as if he were famous enough for someone to write him a biography, but don’t be fooled. he’s not famous.

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