Thursday Night Mowing League: Opening Night

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To say I’m a little overwhelmed with the Opening Day 2023 response is an understatement

First of all, let me say thank you to all of you who’ve bought into the Thursday Night Mowing League and what it stands for across this incredible place we get to call home. If you sent a report and I didn’t include it in this post, don’t kill me. It feels like there were 500 reports to go through and I’m up to about five hours of labor going through tweets, emails, messages, text messages, DMs, etc.

It’s official — this league is massive.

It has been scaled as the business nerds like to say. And it’s scaling like crazy by the hour.

What started as a joke between myself and a Screencaps reader on Twitter has turned into this. Now I have people texting me — I have no clue how they’re getting my phone number — with photos of their yards. It’s insane and it’s only going to get bigger and better.

Now I’m all in. I have a mowing league and it’s up to me where this goes.

The Commissioner’s reaction to Week 1 of the TNML:

  • As expected, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana had strong performances. This is pretty ordinary this time of year and this year people in the Midwest have been helped out by record early-season temperatures.
  • I’m impressed how many “Come & Take It” shirts ended up in the content. That’s a testament to T-shirt Manager Olivia G. & Ronnie T-Shirts putting the hammer down when I said I wanted league members to have the new gear before Opening Day. Trust me, these people have other jobs to perform, but they nailed this project.
  • Speaking of shirts, I took a look at the latest “Come & Take It” numbers and it’s now the No. 2 all-time selling shirt behind the original TNML shirt design. Get the new shirt. It’s going to be a huge hit at the bars when you walk in. I damn near guarantee it.
  • Thank you to those who are engaging with the content on Facebook. That’s my baby this season. T-shirt Manager Olivia G. handles Instagram.
  • I’ve said it and I’ll say it again, we’re naming a TNML National Mower of the Year at the end of the season. 10 semifinalists will be named after Labor Day and then it’ll be a sprint to the end of the season to see who takes home the title.
  • Yes, there are a couple of early-season contenders who had strong Week 1 performances. I think we’re going to see competitors add some personality to their reports in coming weeks and it’s going to be reflected in the power rankings.
    • It’s too early to release power rankings. This is like the Bowl Playoff Committee — we’ll wait until like Week 6.
  • Trust me, I know who was a star this week. My brain might be overworked, but I know this mowing league like the back of my hand.

I’ve noticed more and more ladies joining the TNML

Mark W. in Tennessee, who lays down some nasty stripes on his Toro, sent in an email that has me asking questions. “Mrs. W laid down the Stripes. Can’t tell you how proud I am of her. She has progressed from ‘you mow on Thursday’ to ‘WE mow on Thursday.’ She is all in and said she wanted to put down the first official stripes of the season. You have a new member!”

So my question this week:

How are you guys feeling about the wives wanting in on the action?

I know how emotionally connected many of you are to the zero-turn and the stripes. Are you struggling? Are you pumped up that Thursdays are now couples night? Mark W. seems all jacked up (in a good way) about how his marriage is evolving.

You guys tell me:

Did any of you ever go and get a free beer in 2022 from Nick at Wild Heaven Beer in Avondale Estates, GA?

Millennial Chris B. in Bowling Green’s son knows what lid to go with on Thursday night

If you’re looking for the league lid, you better pick one up. I’m told by T-Shirt Manager Olivia G. and Ronnie T-Shirts that the stock is almost sold out.

TNML questions

• Brian C.B. writes:

1. What music are people listening to while mowing?   I’m always 90s hip hop.  Only time with 2 youngish kids I can enjoy a whole album.   Yesterday was Method Man and Redman.

2. Why does anyone ever plant magnolia in their yard?  Those trees shot on your patio all year long

I didn’t receive a photo for mowing evidence

• Joe R. writes:

Not gonna lie, I had the opening day jitters for week 1 TNML. Spilled some premium BJ’s gasoline while gassing up the Husqvarna pre-game. It was a later start then normal, which added to the pressure; prime time if you will.

In the end, I was able to lay down some stripes, edge and finish sweeping up, and enjoy a crisp Miller Lite just as the sun was setting in Northern Virginia. That said, I’ve been strategically scheduling this week like the Michigan football team; lining up a powderpuff week 1, by mowing my last preseason session late Sunday afternoon. Just the tips. 

Overall, I’m calling this week a win, even though I noticed some grass clippings I missed on the front walk while walking the dogs late this evening. I heard at least 4 other people mowing in the neighborhood today, so there is work to be done getting the TNML word out. I’ll be sure to mention it when I see folks out mowing this weekend!

On a bye week next week due to travel. Keep up the good work!


That’s a great line about Michigan. However, it’s now up to Ohio State to get back on a winning streak and not worry about Michigan’s cupcake schedule that they’ll say was the result of someone canceling a game.

And finally…

Did you see this? (Heads up: WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)

Buy! Buy! Buy!

Thursday Night reports from across the United States:

• TNML chalk artist Jason R. in Far Nor Cal gets top billing this week after his chalk performance:

Perfect conditions for opening night. The track was awesome. I couldn’t have done it without all the help from the good people at Craftsman, NAPA small engine parts division, PBR, generic ibuprofen. What an amazing team. Who am I forgetting? Black and Decker. Oh, and a big shout out to the fuel, utility, and green waste pickup companies that really keep this team running. God bless.

• Cord M. writes:

I Couldn’t stand it. It was almost as exciting as Christmas Eve and I barely slept last night dreaming of the smell of cut grass and fine lines. Here in Sandy Springs, GA, the preseason has been on since February but today is the only day that matters. Opening Day. Got it all cut in under 30 minutes and it was worth the wait. Thanks to my friends at All Turf for the preseason treatments and the trusty Ryobi 40w, I got the win! Celebrating with a cold one. Check out the pics.

Best of luck to all my fellow TNML teammates. 2023 is going to be a special season.

• TNML legend Beau in Toledo IS BACK with a report:

Yeah, I know it’s been a long while… too long in fact.  Kinda been out of the loop for the last few months.  Hope all is well with everyone!  No, the Feds didn’t get me for runnin’ #RocketFuel in the FrankenMower(yet).  I’m gonna hate that run to for fuel next week.  I may run rec fuel for the summer.  

As I sit here with my morning beer, yes, it’s a Yuengling Light for those keeping tabs (#FJB & #FA-B), I thought I’d check in with *THE* #TNML Fam.  Got the oil changed and blades sharpened on the FrankenMower last week, after a light thatch/comb run and low-deck cut to sweep up the rainy winter mess (SideNote: no sustained hard freeze this year for Us, Joe, so expect more bugs in the soil; eggs laid last year survived. Stock up on BugKiller stuff).

Opening Day for #TNML turned out to be a Double Header, which I *thought* was a good idea.  Even left work early to get it done.  Man, are my legs sore.  Kept my work boots on instead of switching to the #608’s.  Won’t do that again.

Got the Maumee Lawn striped with horizontals after two pre-season clean-up mows, stopped by Mom’s to do that postage stamp front yard (re-seeded backyard, so I skipped it, and that’s why I didn’t call it a Triple), then decided I had enough energy to get the homestead done with the #Toro.  Good thing i took today off, but, as the Great Indy Daryl says, #DoHardThings, so I regret nothing! 

Have a great weekend!!


I’ll say this — it’s wild to see Beau in Toledo switching beers. Never thought I’d see the day, but that’s what the world has come to and now it appears that Beau has joined forces with Dick Yuengling out in Pennsylvania.

I hope Dick & the Pottsville, PA is prepared for the financial windfall from such a transition.

It’s great to have Beau back in the mix.

• Dave in Rhode Island writes:

Bittersweet opener here today in Southern RI – had a death in the family at the end of last season.  My beloved 20+ YO @Husqvarna 21″ walk-behind pusher suffered from an untreatable cancer that just ate her away to nothing, noooooo!  Tears were shed, but only briefly…

My brother (Rob S. in NC) gifted me an @Troy-Built (B&S engine) walk behind for replacement! How did I get the mower up to RI from NC you ask? Well, our Dad (USAF vet Tom/BH in CT) sherpa’d it up in the back of the Subaru 900+ miles after a visit down south this winter – our hero once again! Some fresh paint, new plug and blade, requisite stealie sticker, and she starts on the first pull – major TNML team effort.

The mow itself was a little tough as we are not quite there with the grass yet…just spring-raked this past weekend.  But it’s filling in quickly.  Rounded out the session with the trusty @Echo trimmer, @Ryobi collapsible yard barrel, and a new addition this year, a nice pair of @Walker’s ‘Razor’ ear muffs (also great for the range).  @Mizuno mowing sneakers in the mix now as well.

Here’s to a great, injury-free season with lush lawns for all!

• Andy G., who has participated in the Put-in-Bay Two-Club Invitational for the last few years, writes:

• Adam D. in Manhattan, KS, who has pretty much every item TNML has ever sold, writes:

Opening day was like a doubleheader for me and my 15-year-old son!  Came home from work and mowed my lawn first!  Then we packed up the truck and went out to mow four more lawns on Thursday night!  He has a lawn mowing business that has 4 TNML members in it.  Three of them mulch their lawn and one has him bag their lawn.  The bagged lawn takes two 55-gal bags full of grass.   Wasn’t able to fit all the lawn pictures in this email.  He loves laying stripes on Thursdays, but with his business he is laying stripes three or four days a week.   I was wearing my OG Green TNML shirt to celebrate opening day.  

Felt so good to get out and be ready to roll on opening day!  The league is growing!  He loves to “Do Hard Things” at a young age.  I enjoy working alongside him and even letting him drive the truck from yard to yard.   So wonderful father/son time.  This is my third son to have a lawn mowing business, and he seems to love it the most.  He told me after all the lawns last night, compared to football practice last night was easy!!   

Got to thank all my sponsors,  #Honda, #Killcliff, #Altrarunning, and #Toyota.  Without them, we would not be able to provide such service!  

Absolutely love the rock walls. It reminds me of my Pennsylvania days and this is in the middle of Kansas. Impressive.


• Brian in Huron, OH writes:

• Brian in Huron, OH writes:

This Toro war house has been my pulling guard in three states since 1994. Still fires up on the second pull. Don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

Enjoy the lush grass and twice-a-week mows because the heat is on the way. Lawns are great in April.

I wrote a story in 1991 about the head greens keeper at Crooked Stick (the year John Daly won the PGA Championship). I somehow got Pete Dye, who designed the course, on the phone. I’ll never forget what he told when we talked about the challenges of keeping a golf course looking great in late summer: “Ray Charles could make Augusta National look good in April.”

Ol’ Pete would be canceled today.

• Greg H. in suburban Dayton, OH writes:

I’ve been impatiently waiting for my TNML sticker for several weeks now (hint). As Tom Petty concisely stated, “The waiting is the hardest part”. Seeing how today is opening day and I am sticker-less, I decided to take matters into my own hands by creating my own TNML “sticker”. Got to ensure I am properly representing while trimming the blades. As I jumped on Google to find a JPG (or is it JPEG?) of the TNML logo, I caught myself and thought, “Why the hell am I doing arts and crafts for a league where it is unlikely, but possible, that some day I will meet any of my competitors/teammates/brethren?” Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know. So here are my top 10 reasons TNML is the best league out there.

1.)    TNML signifies the coming of summer with cook-outs, shorts, watersports, outdoor youth sports, and a plethora of outdoor activities where I am not freezing my @$$ off.

2.)    Much like the 4th of July, TNML is secular and universal in the US of A. The only requirements are a yard, a mower, and a love of and pride in turf. TNML doesn’t care about your identity, genetics, politics, or persuasions. Just mow, dammit. 

3.)    This year, opening day coincides with 4-20 which is ironic. Both plants are green and referred to as grass but with much different purposes. No worries here about partaking, though, as I was never much of a dope smoker and I have to be able to concentrate on keeping my lines straight.

4.)    TNML encourages, but does not require, the use of power tools – particularly of those that burn fossil fuels. This allows me to subtly thumb my nose at the demagogues who think they should decide what tools I use to care for my lawn or cook my food. I think it is in the TNML bylaws somewhere that extra points are added to scores of members who use internal combustion engines. Ultimately, though, it’s the cut and stripes that do the talking. 

5.)    TNML inspires creativity and healthy competition. Check out these stripes! Think you got skills? Look at this pattern! Competition makes us all stronger, better, and more creative – something the lefties fear which is why they love their participation trophies. Life will always have winners and losers. That’s fact.

6.)    TNML has taken a mundane, but necessary, activity and injected a sense of community around it. As I sip a Rhinegeist Truth IPA at the conclusion of my mow, I recognize my unknown brethren across the US, and potentially the globe, will be doing the same. Perhaps a different adult beverage, but as long as they’re not winding down with Bud Light then we are good.

7.)    I’m not much a “joiner”. I like to do my own thing and not be bound to a bunch of rules or hard commitments which makes TNML perfect for me. Just one day a week (weather permitting) at any time I choose.

8.)    My participation in TNML does not require spousal approval or consent. In fact, my wife has no clue that TNML exists, which saves me from having to try to explain it to her. If the value of TNML has to be explained, then you’re hanging with the wrong crowd.

9.)    TNML promotes resourcefulness and conservation. How? I take serious pride in the maintenance of my 19-year-old John Deere GS30 (pull start, 13hp, 36” cut). Got to keep her looking and performing well so keeps kicking out stripes like Pez. And I’m sure as hell not going to pay 10-grand for an electric mower to manicure my three-quarters of an acre of earth. When something on the mower breaks, I fix it. Good things come from mowing.

10.) TNML exists entirely “for the people, by the people”. Yes, we have a commissioner/ringleader who sets the tone and establishes the ground rules but everything can fit on a piece of 8.5 x 11 in 11pt font unlike anything the government produces. The League isn’t controlled by money, celebrities, or special interest groups. There’s no DEI or ESG. There are no celebrities who don’t know $%&! telling us their opinions or how we should think. TNML is a meritocracy and those with the best turf win. It’s each turfmaster for him/herself with the support of the community.

So here’s my self-made TNML (see reason #9 above). It’s laminated to protect it from the elements. I used 3M Super 77 to adhere it to my mower, so it’s now a perpetual part of the machine.


Now I’m embarrassed because I am 99.9% certain Greg’s sticker went out like two weeks ago. I guess it’s entirely possible the post office sent it to the wrong house. I’ll make this up to Greg, especially after how far he went to make his own.

• Rob S. in NC writes:

Barely got the TNML opening day cut in after mowing other people’s yards.  Broke out the side hustle OG 2007 Hustler FasTrack 42″ on the backyard.  Luckily my boy is at home still at CAT school and helping me and himself.  Nasties to all…shout outs..Stihl Hustler Bobcat Toro Bls Uconn#5….Thanks Joe.

• Indy Daryl got a mow in:

The day has finally arrived and like many baseball teams, I took advantage of the lunch hour and got an early game in.

To be honest, though, my lawn resembles my beloved Colorado Rockies more than I would like to admit. Most years the Rockies are a minor league team masquerading as a pro team, barely able to eke out 60 wins. My yard is a similar combination of talent (actual grass is my Kris Bryant), well-used but faded stars (brown areas that used to have grass but have been worn down by kids is my Charlie Blackmon), a barely there bullpen (dandelions do provide ground cover), and a sub-par manager with a losing record (uh oh that’s me…). And like every team, as the season starts, I can believe this year will be different! The aerating and overseeding are a good start but man there is a long way to go!

I’d like to thank #Greenworks #Blackanddecker #Altrarunning for making up a great team. Here’s to another season of mowing!


I know how you’re feeling Indy Daryl. I thought if the Reds were 10 out by June 1 it would be an impressive season. As I type, they’re 7 out on 4/20. Not good.

• Candler B. in Duluth, GA writes:

Joe- It felt great to get out there and get in the first official mow of the season. I had done some preseason work, but that’s nothing like taking the hill on opening day. I had to pause the job to go pick up my daughter from her practice, and when I got home I saw that my neighbor had hired someone to paint his yard green. It’s not really for me, but I guess if you’re going to do it, at least it was on a Thursday!

Reports will be spotty from me in this first month of the season. This is a really busy time of year for teachers, and I also coach track in the spring. Know that the job will be getting done though!

I do have one TNML marketing idea as we start the season. This may be dumb because this could be a regional thing, but just hear me out. Here in the Atlanta area, the suburban moms love, and I mean LOVE, what I think are called garden flags. They have them for holidays, college teams, spring themes, fall themes, etc. (pic below) I don’t know if a TNML garden flag would sell or not, but I would love to fly one, say Thursday-Saturday during the season to further spread the word about the greatest mowing league America has ever seen! 

I hope everybody had a great opening day. Now those Saturdays are wide open. WE MOW ON THURSDAYS! 


Now this is an interesting idea — TNML garden flags. I’m sending a message to T-Shirt Marketing Manager Olivia G. after I publish this post to see if that’s something she can get in the TNML shop.

• Mark W. in Tennessee is back with his ridiculous property. This is always a showstopper. Read the big news from Mark on Opening Day:

The first official mow of the 2023 season is in the books. Stripes by Toro. Edging by the Echo weedeater. Clean up by Stihl. Refreshment is a Yazoo hop perfect IPA.

Mrs. W laid down the Stripes. Can’t tell you how proud I am of her. She has progressed from “you mow on Thursday” to “WE mow on Thursday”. She is all in and said she wanted to put down the first official stripes of the season. You have a new member!

• Caleb S. writes:

Here’s a quick rundown of week one:

I was probably too excited to get home from work to mow, but with the perfect weather, who wouldn’t be excited? The Toro was running like a champ and got the season started on a strong note. My neighbor was also mowing and I made sure to remind my coworkers about opening day. My wife and 2-year-old are both on board with TNML and why we do it. The 2-year-old can almost say “We mow on Thursday.”

It’s gonna be a great season!

I’d like to thank Jocko Fuel, Golden Pantry gas stations, Toro mowers, classic red gas cans (before big daddy gov ruined them), and Justin Boots for helping me get the job done. Now I’ve got the weekend free to help my dad renovate my uncle’s house and anything else the kid wants to do. Lastly, thanks for the sticker! Now to find the best spot to display it.

• Carey Z. writes:

First time, long time. Been a faithful follower of the TNML for at least a few years now, even if it was never official. Opening day cut brought to you by my trusty Briggs & Stratton Toro and a cold Straub to finish it off.

Had a couple preseason cuts here in SW PA to get warmed up. Went a week between cuts until today and I had to double cut, crosshatch it today to pick up all the clippings.

Only had two landmines to pick up from the dog since this morning was garbage day.

A couple of the neighbors were cutting too, but they’re certainly not our kind.

Had my 9yo son come out at the end after I got done bagging the front and he asked to help cut next time! Been a long time coming! Will have to report back if it happens. Between baseball and swim, we’re at it 6 days a week so I look forward to when I can get a cut in here and there.

Well, time to watch the Buccos beat your Reds (sorry, I dealt with 20 consecutive losing seasons before the run in 13, 14 and 15…hoping it isn’t that long before we make the playoffs again).

• Danny K. writes:

We go! We mow!! We grow!!

Happy opening day!! 4-20-23 TNML!!

• Dustin in Mt. Juliet, TN writes:

Man, that felt great to know the rest of the community was enjoying that fresh grass smell tonight and will be enjoying the perfect lines this weekend.

I’ve been reading Screencaps since fall of 2020 and have been truly inspired by the wisdom and kindness of others in the community. Everything from Reid’s selfless act of giving up his perfect yard for his neighbor’s fun with family building a pool to enjoying the T’s Europe experience. That one motivated me to up the % I was putting in my 401k. Gotta do something like that one day.

Anyway, attached a pic from tonight and thanks for the sticker! Nothing but love, respect and cheers via a miller lite (sad to see you never again Busch Light)!

• David N in McKinney, TX celebrates Opening Day:

Hey Joe, longtime lurker, first-time caller. Well, I did ask for a sticker, but that’s it—and thank you! 

I have a tiny yard. No, it’s even smaller than that. Mow, edge, trim, & cleanup in 45 minutes. That’s why I made the controversial call to go with the electric Kobalt mower. Kobalt also provides the electric base and trimmer & blower attachments.  However, my edger is seriously old school: Craftsman, & I bought it used 2 decades ago. 

I hate starting off with this, but I need a ruling from the Commissioner: I play in a Thursday Night Golf League. Fortunately I work from home, so I mowed today on Thursday afternoon, & that is my plan going forward. Is that acceptable or am I DQ’d on the first tee box? 

Love the column. I enjoy your musings & hearing from regular guys all across the fruited plain. 

Keep up the great work, & I’ll try to do some work out here too. 

Have I missed the TNML hats? 

• Mike T. in Idaho is back to mowing after his European vacation. The guy still has one of the most impressive fire pits in TNML history. He can fit a Christmas tree in there:

Greetings from beautiful and cold Eagle, Idaho!

You might have heard, the High Mountain West has had a long and wet winter! That weather pattern is still in place, as it was 27* with snow, sleet and rain on Tuesday! This AM it was a balmy 28* here in Eagle!

We are still waiting on spring, so I did my best to lay down some stripes without much luck!

The forecast looks promising for the next week, hopefully better mowing to come!

PS, one thing about the cooler weather, fire season lasts longer!

• Brian B. writes:

First pitch is a success.  Lawn done now its time to try and stuff as many activities into opening day as possible.   I have until 330 tomorrow.  

So far. Lawn finished,  made dinner( hibachi pork on the flat iron).  And got dressed for over 40 mens playoff soccer game.

Scheduled to do:

1.Play in soccer game

2. Beers with the boys after game

3. Sleep for a few hrs

4. Wake up knock out work

5. 1130 tee time with 7 other dudes.

6. Make it to bar before 330 for more cold ones 

Wish me luck.


I wish Brian B. luck and I’m jealous of this life that he’s about to live on a Friday. Go get ’em!

• Sean C. in Granger, IN is entering his third year of competition. Look at that photo to see how this guy rolls on Thursdays. :

We finally made it. After 25 weeks, Thursdays have meaning again! Opening night of the TNML always has the potential for postponements here in the upper Midwest. The month of April covers 3 seasons: Winter, Spring, and Summer. And not always in that order. And not one type of weather for more than a day or two.

High Temps ranged from 39 degrees to 84 degrees so far this month, in rollercoaster form. But today, April 20th, the mowing Gods smiled upon us. Opening night was a hit. Who knows what next week will hold.

But today was a good day. And I’m looking forward to year 3 of the TNML and what it can bring!

• Jim M. writes:

Didn’t know if the weather would cooperate or not, but I got it done! 


First pic from March 31st

[The other photo] is from today April 20th!

• Brian B. in Madison, Connecticut writes:

Made the season debut with a cross cut and currently dandelion free. I would like to thank my mowing sponsors @HusqvarnaUSA, @newbalance, and @oakley. I would also like to thank my post mow sponsors @TitosVodka and @LaCroix.

• John L. writes:

Weather:  Sunny, 60’s, light breeze

Attendance:  1 border collie

Result:  Stripes were laid

(Note:  In the foreground, you can see one of the footings for the cocktail deck.  The bottom level of my barn is currently stuffed with building materials.  Construction begins in a week.)

• David L. writes:

Happy the rain held off! Successful opening night in Michigan for 2023. Celebrated the inaugural mow with a post-mow Oberon and a cigar; thanks for all you do putting America’s #1 mowing league together! 

• Matt M. in Montana writes:

Opening day weather delay here in MT. Make up date and time TBD. Mow Hard to the rest of the league kicking off tonight.

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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