Thursday Night Mowing League: Playing Through Adversity

TNML Commissioner’s Report:

It was a big week for your commissioner. I’m finally comfortable enough with part of my yard to show it after years of embarrassment. As kids came along in life, my wife and I were doing the minimum to the yard as the lack of sleep and work piled up. Then, approximately four years ago, things started to change.

We finally ripped up the old railroad ties that were laid down by the previous owner so he could store his small boat in this space. There was gravel everywhere. It was a huge, and I mean HUGE mess, that finally required me to rent a Dingo to dig out the gravel, rip out the railroad ties and bring in the dirt to reclaim the property. My neighbors clearly thought I was nuts dragging eight railroad ties out of this space. The resulting hole was well over seven inches.

Now the land has been transformed and we’re no longer embarrassed when people walk back to our patio.

• Craig V. writes:

I had to give a public shoutout for my 3 year old. My little man had 102.5 fever, yet did not miss league night tonight. He had his Fisher Price in perfect form while I cleaned up with the Honda. Just an absolutely gutsy performance—reminiscent of the Jordan game.

While I was watching him cut with his mower the idea of a TNML junior league popped in my head. Your thoughts?

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I’m all for a junior division. Show us your soft drinks, kids!

• Jordan in Ohio asks:

I need a league ruling here. If I mow Friday evening before going in to finish a work week on a late Friday shift is it still an in-league mowing?

I see “Friday” in the body of that email, so I’m going to say it’s not in-league mowing. I have to draw the line somewhere. At least Jordan’s not asking about mowing on Saturday or I’d lose my mind.

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And with that, let’s get rolling here. I have another garden bed to reclaim and I need to cook up some organic vinegar weed killer spray to take out the damn thistle that is popping up.

Enjoy those patio beers. You earned them this week.

Email: joekinsey@gmail.com

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TNML Reports:

• Max W. writes:

Rookie reporting in from Albuquerque, New Mexico: It was a nice evening (or late afternoon) when I got home from work – my pops showed me the Thursday Night Mowing League a couple of weeks ago and I have already signed up for the emails and followed the twitter account.

In fact, I just got my shirt in the mail earlier this week (pictured below). Excited to be a part of it. My north-facing backyard with a lot of large trees around doesn’t quite get enough sunshine to make the grass as robust as I’d like in the spring, but it’s excellent for keeping cool in the summer.

Getting back into the consistent mowing rhythm after the past few weeks full of personal and work travel felt good. Cracked a local brew (a Santa Fe Brewing Company “Adobe Igloo”) and set to work. After edging the lawn and working the standard “diagonal stripe” pattern, got to sit on the patio and enjoy the handiwork.

Good mow this week, looking to take this momentum into the true summer months and really lean into the green carpet. Gotta make sure to keep my husky and wife happy, my two girls need a cool backyard oasis as we expect our first child (another girl) in August. Cheers!

Ed. note: There’s something going on out in Albuquerque this year. TNML has really started to take off in that city. Meanwhile, I’m fully aware that ABQ will turn 100, dry and see zero water as summer cranks up. That’s why I’m so happy to see the early-season ABQs firing off emails. The turf is looking awesome in the southwest.

• Indy Daryl sent his report at midnight:

I know this is a weird time to be emailing, but as I am working overnight shifts to support the roll out of an Electronic Health Record system for one of our hospitals, here I am. Even though this is my third night night in a row, I sure as heck didn’t let that stop me from getting my stripes laid today!

New Greenworks mower continues to impress with a great cut. And the second charge required to finish up the back yard was handled with a much needed nap. Hope you enjoyed the patio beers this evening!

• Sean C. in Granger, IN writes:

Tonight was an interesting night. I feel like I’m hitting my stride now. The weather has been cooperating lately, allowing a regular schedule to take shape.

But now that I feel like the 2022 season is moving along, there are always distractions that attempt to derail my objective. “Hey, do you want to play golf tonight?” “Do you want to go see Top Gun: Maverick?” “Do you want to go grab a beer after work?” The answer to all of these questions is simply…….”Yes, I do. But not tonight. I’m sorry, it’s league night”. Confusion is the typical reaction.

I did have a couple of pretty persuasive friends who convinced me to come hang out at beach volleyball tonight, but only AFTER league night was complete. One of my friends (let’s call her Paige), upon my arrival at the sand courts, sarcastically asked me “How was your mow?” I proudly proclaimed that I was happy to sit and have a few Busch lights with them knowing that my lawn is ready for the weekend. The thing is, I had to explain why the TNML is important. But just like me before May of last year, it took hearing WHY the TNML is important for someone to understand it. And once it’s explained, they get it. For those who don’t understand, they will be the ones declining invites on Saturday because they’ll be busy doing yard work while I’m on the course, or at the beach, or simply just relaxing by the pool listening to Yacht Rock.

And just to show you how committed I am, I’ve got all the parafernalia and accessories I could get my hands on. Why? Because I believe in the cause. To quote George Costanza, “This is no longer just some crazy notion…….this is my religion”.

• Tim G. in NW Ohio writes:

Had to do a Tuesday-Thursday mow this week due to heavy rains in NW Ohio. Had a 5 1/2” cut on Tuesday and a 4 1/2” cut on Thursday. Yard looks pretty good considering how wet it has been. Special thanks to @exmarkmowers, @DEWALTpower headphones (thanks Santa!), @MichULTRA and the Lord above for a wonderful evening!

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Tim is one of the best at staging his zero-turn mower. Look at that golden hour shine.

• Candler from Duluth, GA writes:

Joe- We’re out of town this week on vacation in Panama City Beach, FL, so we didn’t get a mow in. I’m starting to get concerned about my work crew because I think they might be getting soft from two missed league nights in a row. Instead of mowing today, we drove about 30 miles inland and went canoeing at a place called Cypress Springs. They place that rented our canoes to us also rents bush wackers, so they are our kind of people! It was a little early so we didn’t see anybody out mowing, but I’m suspicious that they might be league members. 

We’ll be back on schedule next week. Hopefully, the rain held off and everybody was able to lay down some stripes! 

• Rookie league member Mark D. in Lehi, Utah writes:

Love Outkick and the TNML.  I took a shot of my lawn after the mow tonight here in Lehi Utah. 

Using a Toro TimeMaster with a Big League striping kit.

• Adam D. writes:

It was quite a week for TNML!  Started off with my league mower dying on Memorial Day mowing a lawn with my son’s lawn mowing business.  Ordering a new mower from Home Depot that was scheduled for a Friday delivery.   With a dead mower, was worried about league night happening.  Had my sons mower on backup for Thursday night in an emergency. 

After several searches for a push behind mower than doesn’t self-propel, I settled on another Honda mower that is self-propelled.  The only problem not showing up until Friday!   By some miracle the mower arrived on Thursday and man what a gem.   My wife now understands how important league night is.  She sent me a text with the picture of the new mower sitting in the drive way.  She even posted a picture on Twitter.   This league just means more!

Got home from work, put on my Altra mowing shoes and went to work.  Broke out the mower from the box, put the oil in the engine, then poured the gas in.  That baby started right up on the first pull!  Then we were off laying stripes in the lawn.  Now using the self-propelled feature when needed on the up hills, this sucker has some power.   Couldn’t believe how fast and easy it was to mow.  This mower looks more like a race car now.  Knocked that lawn out in record time.  Now we just need a new sticker for the league.  

The other bonus was my neighbor out mowing his lawn on Thursday again too.   Attached a picture of his vertical lines running into my horizontal lines, with matching mowing heights.   The weather was glorious last night for league.  A calm and sunny 73 degrees at start had the grass at perfect mowing conditions.  Now let the weekend begin!!  Enjoyed a nice cold MT. Dew on the back patio just staring at my lawn. 

• Rob S. writes:

Hey Joe…couple pics here first Thursday I could get in.  Schools out so lawn care is freed up more.  Yard looking good and the arsenal that is used.  Been meaning to respond and may be late. To the guy who was thinking of quitting teaching, if you are vested keep it up, I’m 24.5 and with days I’m out in 4.5 and side hustling nasties in my retirement to compensate. 

I use to like it, kids are kids I’m middle school, but it has gotten pretty bad all around.  If I didn’t teach PE I’d never get in it and if you can’t see the light and are questioning it..get out.  Best concert Grateful Dead both Highgate VTs 94’/95′.  150k of great people watching the best band in the land. 

Close second front row seats in front of Greg Allman from a dude tripping in the parking lot Allmans/Phil and friends/Govt Mule with my boy Tugboat… Warren Haynes hardest working man in the business.  Anyways keep cutting and bringing the material Joe. Thanks Rob S #Nasties#toro#Stihl#BLs#Tugboat

• Tugboat in North Carolina writes:

Greetings from Northeastern North Carolina where the heat and humidity has finally kicked in. Trying to overcome a rough start to the season after dealing with moles, a mass invasion of clover and deck problems on the mower. Tonight felt like a step in the right direction. Time will tell if we are buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Brought to you by the soothing sounds of Black Sabbath, John Deere, kobalt, skull candy and most importantly- “the sweet elixir of life” Busch Light.

• Adam W. in Sidney, NE writes:

The 2005 late round draft pick from Sears gutted out another first pull mow.  After laying down some double wide stripes I crushed a Hellcat from FlyoverBrewingCompany.  Great day for mowing in flyover country.

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

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