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I definitely underestimated what the Thursday Night Mowing League project would mean to people

Like casting a fishing line with your father or going to a baseball game with dad, there’s something mythical about the relationship between fathers and sons when it comes to maintaining the yard. As the Thursday Night Mowing League rolls on, I’m starting to learn what this whole mowing thing means to people in more ways than just going out there and cutting the grass. This craft definitely has a deeper meaning at its core than what people normally show on the surface.

Take this tweet I received Monday from Steve B., who stopped me in my tracks Monday after I finished up another round of miniature golf with my son while finishing up our Traverse City weekend trip. I never thought this TNML project would ever get to this point, but here we are with something I think many of you can feel in your core.

You’re lying if you say that tweet doesn’t leave a lump in your throat. In all sincerity, this is one of the most touching in memoriam tweets I’ve ever seen. Those shoes clearly signify strength as a dad to go out there and muscle through another round with the mower. They signify our need to never stop moving, even if it means starting projects that never end. Or if it means jumping on the riding lawn mower on back-to-back nights to lower the turf a half-inch to the perfect height. Or if it means throwing on the New Balances and standing on the porch staring at the yard and the work that has been accomplished. Steve’s right, you have to laugh not to cry.

I’m not sure what you have planned this weekend for Father’s Day, but if you live close enough to your father, perhaps simply hanging out with your dad after a mowing session is the best gift you could give him. Maybe just stare at the yard with him for an hour as the sun goes down and appreciate that he’s around. It might lead to the easiest conversation you’ve had with him your entire life.

• Shifting gears this morning, let’s dabble in the art of buying Cameos as a birthday gift for your buddies. I wasn’t always convinced that a Cameo was a great gift for someone like my friend Diesel who turned the big 5-0 on Monday. Those doubts are officially over after the two videos he received, including one from Ms. Courtney Cummings wishing Big D a happy birthday and another from Kanye East, who roasted Big D. That’s right, we blew out the budget on this project. Brought in the heavy artillery. And guess what? These two absolutely killed their performances. Ms. Cummings was even late in producing her video, which meant it was free!

• While we’re talking gifts, OutKick is now working with watch company Vincero, who produces a high-end watch while keeping the costs down. I’m no watch guy, but I know a watch that looks good on a screen and The Rogue would be my style.  If you’re looking for a racing watch, The Apex is the call here. And finally, the Chrono S would look amazing if you plan on jumping on a yacht this summer and want to look like you fit in with the yachting community.

• The Traverse City trip comes to an end after I publish this post, and I’ll have you know I took my son back to the miniature golf course last night to get the edge in the hole-in-one category. I sank a beauty on No. 1 and held on to win the tough par 41 Blackbeard Challenge course.

• And finally this morning, I’m so happy to see the Tennessee Volunteers in the College World Series and it’s not because I’m a Vols fan. Instead, I’m a fan of the content that Vols fans create. For Morning Screencaps’ sake, I hope the UT fans have a long visit to Omaha and the bars outside TD Ameritrade Park. I think it’s the Blatt Beer & Table where I was at a few years ago where the action was located. Add in Mississippi State fans and Texas and you have the makings for a special week from the fans.

• Have a great day. I have a drive home to navigate.

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Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. It might be “cutting the grass” to some people…even some moms lmao…but as you say, Joe…it’s much more than that. And it’s curious how the kids seem to gravitate to what you’re doing when they’re younger (pre-college)…like what’s this ritual that dad does through three seasons?
    I was the same way growing up and first watching my dad working in the yard. Especially when he would tinker with the mower and the blades. And it feels so good when it’s done and done right. It ain’t “cutting the grass”.
    I’m older now and in a high rise, so I only see and hear the landscapers, but I recall all the great times with my three kids…mostly on Saturdays back then because we didn’t have somebody smart enough to think of a TNML dammit lol.
    Cheers to all you TNML guys !!!

  2. Glad to hear you went out there and brought your A-game against your kid. At any age past 5, there is no need to let him win. You can let him score some points against you and even encourage him in order to keep his morale up, but ultimately, he should beat you fair and square when he is in his late teens or later, and then the torch can be legitimately passed.

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