Thursday Night Mowing League: Fathers Step Up Before Their Big Day

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Natural born rabbit killer

Guys, we have a problem at the TNML headquarters in the form of a Doodle who officially has the taste of dead baby bunny on her jowls. She might be cute, but this three-year-old is now a hunting dog who has put out a hit on any and all rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and even the birds who dare come into her yard.

Last night, I was out mowing half of the yard due to inclement weather — see Friday Screencaps for a full recap of our wild night — when I noticed Daisy was on the prowl for fresh blood. The baby bunny started hauling ass down our stepping stone path and escaped into a day lily plant and it appeared that was the end of the drama.

For that rabbit, it was over.

Later in the night, the Natural Born Killer (NBK) was let out and that’s when she came back with a present for Mrs. Screencaps — a dead baby bunny.

Talk about a buzzkill for the evening.

After the kids were put to bed, we had a post-kill press conference and that’s when I learned Mrs. Screencaps noticed the stench of a dead animal in one of our plants. It seems as if the NBK went back out and got her mouth around the dead bunny and brought it back as a gift.

But now dead bunny is on her brain. The thrill of the catch is all she can think of. The instincts are coming out as she matures into her prime years.

Let this serve as a warning to animals who are thinking of jerking around in our yard — head on a swivel. Fair warning. Your ass should be on high alert.

The game has officially changed around here. She’s tasted fresh kill.

Mowing report:

We finally got rain for the first time in 21 days. Last night was the first time I’ve had the mower out of the garage in three weeks. No, I’m not blowing through hundreds — maybe thousands — of dollars on irrigation. Yes, I run a mowing league, but I also like suckin’ down booze at the beach on vacations. I’m not blowing that booze money on full turf.

I do have lines in the sand.

Week 8 National Mower of the Year Power Rankings:

  1. Jimmy Dobbins (no report last night due to a tornado)
  2. Fink in Illinois (he’s now attaching sponsor logos to his shirts for his press conferences)
  3. TJ Bollmer in the 513 (FIRM No. 3, but there are TNML superpowers coming for his spot)
  4. Mike Freshwater (he was ranked like the first 3-4 weeks of the season & now has a drone)
  5. Tim Hornet (Scroll down for his flawless pit stop)

Also receiving votes:

Coach Dave, Dan Dakich, Candler B., Matt Schmitz

Last week’s rankings:

  1. Jimmy Dobbins
  2. Fink in Illinois
  3. TJ Bollmer in the 513 (this could go up big time if we secure our first beer sponsorship via TJ)
  4. Coach Dave
  5. Matt Schmitz

Buy! Buy! Buy!

You guys asked for flags. Now we have flags.

Mowing reports from across the United States (and sometimes Canada, but I think they’re staying indoors with all the wildfire smoke that will likely be turned against the league as the U.S. comes after our gas-powered mowers):

• Matt in Nashville writes:

Tonight was a solid night in many usual ways. Finally got some rain in the area, so the fairway was nice and green for laying stripes (little man helped with his tiny Husqvarna), but on the real plus side, we added a new member. 

Lance, an absolute find, had been doing drywall in Cali for 46(!!) years prior to bringing his talents to central Tennessee. I’ve been undergoing a major home remodel for about a year (most if which I’ve done myself with mt FIL, can’t wait to share the full results with the SC community) but a couple of (mostly ceiling) sheet rock jobs had me wanting an experienced hand, and God put Lance right into our lives via a job nextdoor that I caught him on. 

Lance escaped the degeneracy of Cali and is so happy to be here in TN. He is a solid Christian man, and I trust him with any work in my home. Today as he left, I mentioned what I was about to do, and he was certainly intrigued. I recently kept the accidental extra OG TNML shirt sent to me for just this reason, and tonight was the night to give it away and bring in a great new member. 

TNML community, please welcome Lance, formerly of Cali and now of Central TN. This is what it’s all about.

• Tim G. in the 419 writes:

First mow in two weeks due to a 3-week dry spell. We got 2.2 inches of rain Sunday and Tuesday in the 419 to get the yard back green again. Special thanks as always to my Exmark mower, my DeWalt head phones and an ice-cold Yuengling Flight for a wonderful evening in the yard.

• Sean C. in Granger, IN writes:

I know last week was the “All Star Break”, so I’m not here to pat myself on the back (though I’m going to), but I did mow on Thursday. It was a weird week. At that point, we really hadn’t seen much rain, so I just took a little off the top. The areas where the dogs take care of their business had the best growth as you would expect.

However, we’ve had some substantial days of rain in the last week, so the grass is starting to look healthy again. My sprinklers had been on full blast, and it was still tough to keep the grass green there for a few weeks. Looks like we may be going into another stretch of hot and dry weather around here again next week. So good luck to everyone around the Upper Midwest next week.

I do have one small issue. I know you’ve said many times that the website and the things that go on outside of your postings are above your pay grade. But someone has to do something about this! An advertisement for a AutoMower……on OUTKICK! Next thing I know, ads for Bud Light and The Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence will be popping up. Let’s end this before it gets out of control.

• Candler B. in Duluth, GA writes:

Joe- It felt great to get things going again after a relaxing all-star break. My sons were doing a pressure washing job for a neighbor, so I was able to take the reins and get in a relaxing afternoon mow. As I finished up, our TNML group text started to blow up, and it looks like I was the only one without help yesterday.

Connor’s 8-month-old daughter helped out dad with the first mow of her career, and it seems like she paced herself a little better than John’s daughter. Sometimes, mowing is fun until it’s not. The winner of the week though is Sean’s wife, Casey, who stopped Sean on his way out to mow and told Sean she would take over this week so she could “get some exercise.” Sean and Casey have four kids, so this screams, “I have got to get 45 minutes to myself while all the kids are home for the summer.” I ain’t mad atcha, Casey. We’ve all been there.

I asked for the new TNML flag for Father’s Day. We’ll see if Santa comes through. Happy weekend and Father’s Day to all! 

Brian B. in Madison, CT writes:

After a three-week break, back at it for week 9.  Lawn didn’t need mowing for week 7, and some rain (not enough) came during week 8, so it was ready for a mow last night.

Weather:  Sundown, 70 degrees, and dry lawn.

Pattern:  Combined A and B

Mowing sponsors:  @HusqvarnaUSA and @newbalance.

Post-mowing sponsors:  @titosvodka

Bee stings:  1

• Indy Daryl writes:

Glad you had such an amazing trip up north last week. Sounds like a blast!!

Hats off to all the Thursday Nighy mowers out there. Here’s to mowing that slice of earth whether it’s a lush piece of grass or mostly clover and weeds like mine!

I may mow the lawn but the real star of the show is my lovely wife’s window boxes. Goodness! She has those things looking amazing.

The last time I mowed, I sat down after mowing gearing up for game one of the NBA finals. And two weeks later, lo and behold the Nuggets actually did it!!! I can’t believe they actually won!!! What an amazing accomplishment that I never thought I would see. Absolutely incredible.

Hope you had a great mow on league night!

• Mike T. from Eagle, Idaho writes:

Greetings from beautiful Eagle Idaho. Perfect lawn weather here in the mountain west!

85 degrees, low humidity, and an occasional thunderstorm. Lots of water in the reservoirs, so not problem with irrigation all summer!

I thought I’d add a 30-year-old photo of my Dad weeding the garden at one of our old homes. He taught me everything I know about gardening and Horticulture. He passed many many years ago and I miss him every day.

Happy Father’s Day to all us Dads!

• Joe R. in Virginia writes:

Almost two months into the season and for the first time my week 6 TNML update (email or twitter) didn’t make it into the official TNML post. Omf. I felt like a Nebraska football fan watching our team drop off the AP Top 25 Rankings in the first week of November.

It’s heartbreaking, but will I give up? Will I start mowing on Sundays? HELL NO! Time to double down on effort and pump out some news worthy TNML content for the Comish. While Joe took a much needed week off for golf and convenient “drought like conditions;” I said to hell with the water bill. Lets get this grass green and get in an extra weeks worth of mowing, hedges trimmed, trees pruned, and edges crisp… and maybe, just maybe I can get back in the good graces of the league voters. 

Just as I told my neighbor, as we discussed the whether 12 or 15 minutes was the right amount of time for sprinklers (I go with 20 min. BTW), I’m most proud of the very distinct line between my property and the HOA’s. See below. This is the first year I’ve maintained a strict watering schedule, and it’s really paying dividends. 

Pray for all the east coast weekend mowers that will once again have to deal with smoke from Canadian wildfires. May they see the light of the #TNML. 

• J.A. Z. writes:

Checking in here from Lake Norman in North Carolina. In my sophomore season here of the league and the lawn has been slowly rehabbing over the past 18 months from the neglect of previous owner. But things are looking good as seen by the attached photos. 

I wrote today to share something I received from a buddy. I was lacking motivation to mow today and my buddy was looking for DFS lineups. So I made a trade. I would give him lineups but he was to provide a motivational mowing speech. Owing to his laziness he asked ChatGPT to write said speech, which is included below. Certainly no “Any Given Sunday” or “Friday Night Lights” speech, but it got the job done (I plan on getting an AI to read it in Al Pacino’s voice). Mowing was completed with help from the official TNML Spotify Playlist, followed by a dinner of Chorizo Taquitos and Frozen Watermelon Margaritas.

Enjoy the pictures and speech. 

Shoutout to my sponsors: Kobalt Tools, Black and Decker Blower, and Coors Light for the Hydration. 

Long Live the League. 

Dr. Jake by the Lake

Mowing Motivation:

Ladies and gentlemen, today I stand before you to deliver a motivational speech that will ignite the spark within you and inspire you to conquer the task at hand: mowing your lawn. While it may seem like a mundane chore, let me share with you the profound reasons why this seemingly simple act holds the power to transform your life.

First and foremost, mowing your lawn is an opportunity to take ownership and show pride in your surroundings. Your lawn is a reflection of who you are and how you present yourself to the world. By meticulously tending to its appearance, you not only enhance the aesthetics of your property but also convey a sense of responsibility and care.

Engaging in the act of mowing teaches us invaluable lessons about discipline and consistency. As you push that lawnmower across the grass, you exercise patience and persistence. It reminds us that great accomplishments are often the result of consistent effort, and every small step forward contributes to a larger, more fulfilling outcome.

Moreover, mowing your lawn is an act of self-care. It provides an opportunity to connect with nature, to breathe in the fresh air, and to experience the therapeutic benefits of spending time outdoors. Amidst the fast-paced world we live in, this simple act allows you to pause, rejuvenate, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.

Think of mowing as a metaphor for life itself. Just as you meticulously cut the grass, you have the power to shape and sculpt your own path. Each pass of the lawnmower is a step towards personal growth, as you develop the discipline to overcome obstacles and create a space of beauty and tranquility in your life.

Lastly, mowing your lawn has the incredible power to inspire others. Your neighbors and passersby will witness your commitment to maintaining a well-groomed yard. They will admire your dedication and may even find inspiration to embark on their own journey of self-improvement. By mowing your lawn, you become a catalyst for positive change, radiating motivation and influencing those around you.

In conclusion, my friends, mowing your lawn is not just a mundane chore but an opportunity for personal transformation. It teaches discipline, fosters self-care, and inspires those around you. Embrace the power within you, pick up that lawnmower, and let the grass-cutting symphony of motivation begin. Your journey awaits!

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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