Thursday Night Mowing League: Rip Curl Wins Shuffleboard Tourney In His Jersey, Beau Unleashes The Beast & Fall Sets In

TNML commissioner report:

Guys, I’m in a mowing rut. My schedule is off, the sunset is a huge issue and other projects are starting to pile up that cause chaos on Thursdays. Take last night for example. This weekend, my father-in-law and I are building a basement LED fireplace mount and cabinet. My wife designed a river rock tray that will sit at countertop level. It’ll be picture framed in with cherry boards that we needed milled, so there I was on a Thursday making a woodshop run with the father-in-law to make sure we got exactly what we needed and had it milled to the perfect size.

Last week, I had to make a trip into the ‘hood to visit a business that deals in acrylic sheets. We’re going to need an eight-foot sheet at a 1/2″ thickness to span this river rock counter. That’s right, half-inch(!) thick acrylic. I want this counter to handle multiple heavy Crock-Pots on football Sundays in January.

To make a long story short, I needed very specific-sized cherry boards and with the project starting today after work, I needed them last night. I get home, have dinner with the kids and the sun is going down.

So I get it when the emails roll in with guys who are feeling guilty. I’m the same way. Pure guilt running through my veins. I pull out of the driveway, look across the yard with the beautiful mums glistening in the sun, and all I can think is that I will now have to sacrifice part of my weekend to mowing.

But, I want that fireplace situated and the wife’s river rock tray finished. This wasn’t part of our initial basement goals, but then I started scrolling through Instagram one day and there was this massive LED fireplace that seemed cool. Then I bought it.

You guys have your own projects going at this point. Yes, I’ve set the final league night for October 28, but I get it if the schedule just isn’t lining up. That doesn’t mean you can’t adapt your reports. Let me know how you’re reorganizing the beer fridge on Thursdays. Show me how you’re mounting new 65″ TVs in your garage because they’re cheap and you were bored. Let me see the new DIY project you’re working on because the sun is down and you can’t stand the thought of being on the couch at 7 on a Thursday night.

In other words, let’s all make a pact that we’ll stay in touch here until Opening Day in the spring.


TNML member reports:

Ripcurl writes:

Long time fan of your work on OutKick.
Got invited to participate in a charity Shuffleboard tournament here in Saint Petersburg, FL. The tourney was for the benefit of Habitat for Humanity. Now I am all for doing good things, but after listening to my father rampage about the increase in gas prices under Jimmy Carter, and anything associated with that bleeding heart, I was torn. Play shuffleboard at the oldest shuffleboard club in the world with drink tickets at 2 for $5 or stick to my convictions and forego half-priced craft beers on a Saturday night. Well…
So I decided to show everyone the best of humanity. I represented TNML (photo attached).
Of course there were a few awkward glances at my shirt throughout the night. After all, the event was attended by many of the upper crust of the Tamp Bay area. Most of the people there had never even considered taking care of their own yard. The only person who even mentioned the t-shirt was the guy serving me the beers.
But me and the buddy who invited me are different. We are the ones who have diligently followed league rules week in and week out. Not sure if you know what summer evenings are like here in southwest Florida. Suffice it to say, I spent many nights mowing the yard as if I were the priest from Caddyshack.
At the end, me and my buddy won the tournament. Couple of old jocks vs a bunch a blue hairs wasn’t very fair anyway. Or was it the shirt?

Beau in Toledo never misses a Thursday. The guy is an absolute machine:

Got some weekend plans; left work early today and went Kobe for #TNML and knocked out 3 yards; even resurrected the FrankenMower for a Sunset Mow at home (turned over instantly after 3 months idle; told y’all that aircraft fuel works!); made some Dale Lines too, making sure I only turned left after each pass; Petty may be The King, but we all know who The Man is.

Sean C. in Granger, IN knows the season is just about over, but he knows what comes at the end of the season and it’s time to savor the good times:

I gotta tell you Joe, tonight was the first league night of 2021 that I realized we’re getting close to the end. I didn’t hustle home today, but by the end of my mow, I realized I didn’t have much time to spare. It’s the last day of September and daylight will be an issue by the time we wrap up October 28th. Even before the establishment of the TNML, I always looked forward to mowing season. Just like Spring Training in Florida in March, the beginning of the mowing season is a sign of fun things to come…, pools, cookouts, beaches, ball games, amusement parks… name it.

But the end of the mowing season (and end of the baseball season for that matter) is a sign of other things to come for us here in the Midwest….snow, ice scrapers, slick roads, cold nights and weeks of overcast weather. Those are things I don’t enjoy as much.

So as we come down the stretch, I’m going to enjoy every blade I cut, taking in the smell of the freshly cut grass along the way.  I may even mow little slower to help savor each moment.

One last thing….I switched out my first sprinkler head this week. It wasn’t just the nozzle, I had to unscrew and remove/replace the whole vertical tube that connects to the buried lines. Then make sure the arc and radius were set up properly. Now, most veterans will probably laugh at my “accomplishment”,  but I never thought about doing it before. I’ve had a few sprinkler heads that needed to be replaced in the past, but I would just call my sprinkler guy. Like everyone else these days, they are short staffed and had long lead times to get the house. So I had to take matters into my own hands. Thanks to YouTube and a little encouragement and motivation from a friend (let’s call him “other” Sean), I was able to get the job done and save myself quite a bit of cash while doing so.

Dave in Rhode Island checks in:

Late innings here in RI – round one of aeration, fertilizer and overseed complete…still battling some late season crab grass – tough year for that!

Question: for those of us that deal with leaves, do you wait until the bitter end for the cleanup, or do you play keep-up with several rounds? My answer is to play keep-up on a weekly basis, wondering how others handle this very important maintenance issue?

Indy Daryl officially has fall colors popping in his yard:

Happy Thursday! League night was a great success, even after not cutting my grass for 14 days. Full confession: I finally changed my blade, 4 summers in! And wow, was I in for a treat against some 8” or taller grass. I’m sure that is against the league statutes, but until this year I definitely didn’t care nearly as much. So thanks for providing an opportunity to grown in, if not my love of, the craft of mowing.

Leaves are starting to change here in Indy and boy do I love watching our big tree change! Here’s to the orange, pink, and maroon leaves we are about to see here in the Midwest.

Happy mowing to all

Ryan S. in NW Ohio is off this week on a fun adventure for kids:

I know the season is winding down and every Thursday counts, but this week I checked out. Took the family for some much-needed R & R to Hocking for the week. Had planned to get home in time, but just couldn’t drag the kiddos home and I was good with it.

Kurtis in NW Ohio had himself one of those nights:

It couldn’t have been a better fall evening for TNML. With the recent warm weather the grass is still growing and I was able to still see the wax lines. Not only did I enjoy the night, my wife, looking hot in her fall tights and stocking hat (no wide-brimmed hat here), but she also has no fear taking the burn barrel to the next level.

Candler in Duluth, GA is in apology mode & it’s unnecessary:

Joe- First off, I’d like to apologize for my poor performance last week. You made me the official TNML beat reporter in Duluth, GA, and I didn’t even send in a report. I had a conflict with the kids’ schedules (not middle school football this time), and it resulted in me finding myself right in the middle of a Saturday mow. I’m not gonna lie, it felt wrong. College football was on the TV, and I was outside mowing like a big idiot. It was embarrassing

That’s the bad news. The worse news is that I’m going to be out there again this Saturday. I had planned on an aeration and overseed in the backyard for late this afternoon. I even bought a rolling handheld aerator from Amazon that arrived earlier today. (See the pic below…still need to put it together.) The problem is that I didn’t tell the Mrs. about this plan, and she, in turn, made plans of her own for our family to go out to dinner. As you’ve said many times, “happy wife, happy life,” so I wisely nixed the aeration plans and will be forced into a make-up game on Saturday. It’s an unfortunate turn of events, but I think it was the right call. 

The general consensus amongst the league members in my neck of the woods is that we’re ready for the grass to stop growing. Everybody loves the league, but there’s a reason we have an off-season. We know that our yards aren’t going to make the playoffs, so we’re just trying to finish strong, get things tightened up for the winter, and build for next year. Thanks for keeping us motivated during this final stretch. Reading the league report is always one of the highlights of my Friday!

Paul McE. in southeastern Iowa is back and self-reporting violations. By the way, contrary to what the beer snobs say, sometimes just sucking down a Bud Light bottle makes everything right in the world. No shame, fellas:

I’ve mowed once since I last checked in. The Mrs. was trying to be nice and mowed on a Sunday while I took a kid to practice. I appreciate the thought but I received several texts while at practice asking where things were and if the old lawnmower would start because the new Cub Cadet was too heavy. This is where I found the lawnmower when I got home, abandoned by the trampoline.

After that fiasco, I got back on track of what I think will be the final mow of the season. The Mrs. took the kids to the daughter’s dance practice so I could mow with no interruption. It really makes it better to mow with no one home and the dog up, it’s really helped this year with the peace of just mowing. I admitted to my first violation of mowing on Sunday and here comes the second violation. We had a service to aerate the yard. I thought I had a couple more weeks but they showed up today and said it was ok to mow when they got down.

I apologize for my 2 violations in a month and I look forward to next year if you’ll still have me. Now it’s time to check out the snowblower and make sure I’m ready for winter. The beverage of choice tonight out of the garage fridge is the tried and true Bud Light.

Thanks for a fun year.

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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  1. Ripcurl, I’m not sure if you’ll see this, but I assume that’s the St Pete Shuffleboard Club? With what seems like 100 courts and stands for spectators. I understand it’s Florida, so there’s probably a shuffleboard club on every other street corner. But if it’s the one I’m thinking it is, I’ve been there. Awesome time! Congrats on the win!

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