Thursday Night Mowing League: The Game Has Changed Forever

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TNML Mower of the Year Rankings After Week 3

There’s little doubt about the top three spots this week in the new power rankings after an historic performance from three guys who decided this was the week they were going to break out of the pack.

Fink in Illinois even told me that it’s not in his nature to hold a post-mow press conference, but then he hit “Tweet” and changed the league forever Thursday afternoon. That led to Matt S. in Alabama dropping what will go down as the primer for anyone looking to hold his/her own press conference in the future.

I don’t know if Matt S. has any past experience doing something like this, but it’s a work of art.

Last week’s TNML power rankings after Week 3:

  1. Matt Schmitz
  2. Fink in Illinois
  3. Adam Wanberg in Nebraska
  4. Colton Lippert
  5. Dave Holmgreen in Texas

Falling out of this week’s rankings: Mike Freshwater, T.J. Bollmer, Tim G. in NW Ohio. Also receiving votes in Week 3: Canoe Kirk.

Remember, TNML Mower of the Year will be based on a cumulative performance over the entire season. Matt can’t just sit back and let his press conference carry him to a title. Now people see where the bar is at.

Commissoner’s yard report

I’m still dealing with some areas that need seeding, peat moss and attention, but we’re finally seeing the turf build on the west-facing side of the house. It’s a yearly thing we deal with.

One item I’ve added to my list of jobs that need done is a spot that keeps sinking. It’s time for a load of dirt. Most of the hole is on my neighbor’s property line, but he’s like 75 and not exactly paying attention to his yard because he has lawn service. I’ll have to eat the cost and labor to get the job done.

Speaking of jobs, look at this pile of flagstones on the skid. That’s what awaits me this weekend. It’s about 3/4 ton of stone for a path down the right side of the house that we’ve been working on the past few seasons. Now it’s time to get serious on finishing the job.

There are rocks on that skid two-foot wide by 3.5-foot long that are going to be beasts to move, but they’re going to be awesome in their new home. For those wondering about costs, that’s $700 in stone. Do yourself a favor and get the big boys. We’ve learned over the years that that flagstones we think are the big boys are actually the medium boys and they need replaced by the real hogs. This weekend, the hogs start eating up holes along the paths.

Speaking of a work of art

The battery-powered era is coming, but is it still too soon?

Michael B. adds that he has about an acre of land to mow.

Buy! Buy! Buy!

Thursday Night reports from across the United States:

• The legend of TNML, Beau in Toledo, checks in:


     Did @elonmusk launch some new evil (not really) solar heater into our orbit in the last few days?!?

     All jokes aside, it was nice to feel the Sun on #WeekDale of #TNML  The breeze off of Lake Erie made it a little chilly, even in Maumee, but my #DuluthTradingCompany gear kept me all good.  Dale would wear it.   

     Last year’s 608’s may need replaced, though… either that or I’m egregiously out of Mowing Shape.  Three straight weeks of Double Headers for #TNML never bothered me before, but Bro, this isht is making me do yoga moves to stretch the back and legs right after I nestle into the waterbed…

     Yeah, I said waterbed, so what.  It feels great on the back, and I haven’t put on a cold pair of underwear (boxer-briefs now, for those keeping score at home) in 35 years… Cope and Seethe.

     Back to the Double Header At Hand.  I picked up another yard this year… Little Woman’s Neighbor passed, and the probate courts are taking their time, so I offered my time behind the #ToroPersonalPace to the Family handling the matters for the price of… yeah, you know, beer.  And to reiterate, yes, it’s @yuenglingbeer (I have alerted the manager at the Circle K on Secor to adjust ordering… I may rant on that another day).

   We gotta do what we gotta do to keep yards all good, right?  Oh, and yes, I cut both side by side yards in different patterns… horizontal with Woman’s, verts with side job… Hauled home the clippings for the garden, and the #Ram was ok with it, because, well, #BulletLiner


     Even better, I’m hoping to have a part time gig on a 5 acre lot, with 2 acres to mow… a buddy had knee surgery, and Doc said he may need to skip time on his Bad Boy 52″ ZT… I will PAY him in beer to let me run that rig…His ’69 Camaro SS and the 2023 Camaro ZL1 are probably off limits, but it won’t be for lack of trying…

     We’ll see…

     Yeah, I have 2 more mows on Friday, but whatever… I’d call it #DoHardThings ( I need to Beer with Indy Daryl), but are they hard things when you enjoy doing them??

     Joe, Thank You for being That Guy, and Thanks to Every Member of the #TNML and all those in #ScreenCapNation, for creating a Community that just Enjoys being Americans.

(Tips Beer), 


What a report. That’s a vintage Beau in Toledo report right there. You have to read every line or you’ll miss little nuggets like Beau shouting out his Ram truck bed liner. That just takes me back to the early days of TNML

• Levi in the 208 writes:

Commitment means- doing what you said you were going to do, long after the mood in which you said it, has left you. 

Didn’t want to mow tonight. Crap day at work followed up “student lead” parent teacher conferences for both my kids, which basically was them showing me the same papers they bring home every week, only I had to go to the school and they could show me there. 

Zero mood tonight and mow when I got home. Would be so easy to put it off- it was already late, I hadn’t eaten,  I was tired, but then that little voice chimed. The voice that said what about your commitment? What about doing hard things? You think you’re the only one in league who had a crap day? Do you really want to mow on Saturday??

So I cracked a Coors​, threw in a mouthful of seeds, and got after it. Got lost in the pleasure of the work (I’ve always enjoyed turning disheveled and uneven turf into crisp lined, level top, square edged lawn) and finished just as the moon was rising. Didn’t let the team down and man it feels good to have it done. Might just snag a tee time this weekend to celebrate. 

• Jade B. writes:

Has the League cracked the code on how to mitigate a female golden retriever’s impact to the Poa pratensis canvas that constitutes many a backyard? In other words, she’s killing my lawn one squat at a time. What’s a good fix, short of keeping her off of it or just re-seeding the brown spots? It’s not her fault. I’m not even mad. Well, maybe a little…

As for the season, I’m late out of the gate here in Colorado but proud to show off my new shirt.  First cut complete and no sign of any Bud Light in my garage refrigerator.

• Indy Daryl writes:

I’d like to give a huge shout out to Mrs. Do Hard Things. She is incredible and spent most of the day digging out old plants and planting new perennials. The front of our house is all do to her. I can manage the mowing and weeding, but her ability “beautify” space is amazing. We have more to pull out/cut down as you can see, but she is well on her way!

As for the cut, weather was perfect, sunshine was glorious, and spring is finally in full swing! Not sure who asked in last week’s report, but currently not listening to anything while I mow. Just the sound of the blades cutting through grass does a mind good.

One other note: and let me preface this by stating for the record that I am definitely that awkward freshman on the JV team who hustles, plays defense, and rebounds but knows he isn’t varsity material yet. That being said, what is your criteria for MVP? I know in most pro leagues it is shrouded in a bit of secrecy, but if league members are expected to vote, some guidance is appreciated. In my opinion there should be five characteristics of our TNML MVP:

  1. Consistency
  2. Lawn presentation
  3. Actual lawn
  4. League report
  5. League interaction

Not sure that is the best or full list but curious your thoughts as well!

May the sunshine be bright and the blades be sharp!

• Sean C. in Granger, IN writes:

Well, after opening night, things got a little hectic. We had 4th Winter here in the Midwest, and traveling back from the North Side of Chicago at 4pm last Thursday took about 4 hours, so unfortunately I missed week 2 of the TNML. But don’t fret, I’m back on schedule and it looks like we’ve finally made it out of winter. 

After leaving Kansas City at 6:55am this morning to make sure I got back in time to mow, I was driving home and realized again how many people are actually mowing on Thursdays in my neighborhood. There was even a guy finishing his mow in near darkness tonight. Whether everyone knows it or not, they have the bug.  The revolution is here.  

After today’s mow, I feel like I’m getting close to midseason form.  

Also, you mentioned trying to get some pics of the car with the TNML plate around town. The last 3 weeks have included a lot of travel, some of it in the air, so here we are at the South Bend airport. I’m hoping to have more interesting stops as the year continues. 

I know this is a screencaps topic, but you talking about the Rio in Las Vegas again hits a soft spot for me. And seeing what disrepair it’s been in over the last handful of years is sad. There were some long weekends there in the early 2000’s when I rarely left the property. They had all the entertainment you’d want (including the Masquerade Show in the Sky), the pools were great, and besides the All World Buffet, they had a Tilted Kilt inside the casino for a certain time. But if you DID feel the need to head off-site, the free shuttle to Harrah’s dropped you in the center of the strip.  It’s really unfortunate what Vegas overall has become, particularly with the sad state of 6/5 blackjack.  To me, Fremont Street (and the immediate surrounding area) is still the best entertainment for your buck in Vegas. 

• Rob in NC writes:

Back in this week Joe, another late one but got it done also including an old video of my son 11 yrs ago I believe.  Old college guy made a video he couldn’t get over my kid on zero at 7 or 8. It’s in his blood tho. It’s semi long winded but funny brings back memories.  Shout out to TNML BOBCAT Stihl beer ….thanks for all you roll out…Rob. NC

• Jason R. in Far Nor Cal is getting after it:

Got a quick mow/edge in before weather. The backyard has lots of work that I will get caught up on this weekend. It’s alright because I’ve got no plans this weekend except for home projects. Good therapy. Side note: my fairly new next door neighbor, who I’ve never talked to before, came over and introduced himself. Said something jokingly along the lines of I was making his yard look bad. I explained the TNML concept. Ironically I’ll be working on the backyard this weekend, but it’s a start!

• Brian B. in Madison, Connecticut writes:

Weather:  Cloudy, 53 degrees, and dry lawn.

Pattern:  Back to pattern ‘A’ (same as week 1).  Pattern ‘A’ is with the first cut being parallel to the house, then the cross cut is perpendicular.

Mowing sponsors:  @HusqvarnaUSA and @newbalance.

Special sponsors for week 3:  @stance for the Star Wars socks (may the fourth), and @deadandcompany for the bandana.

Post-mowing sponsors: @johnniewalkerUS for me, @drinkloverboy for the Mrs., and @wellnesspetfood for Supervisor Buddy.

Side note:  Sometimes with this pattern, you are facing the sun and can lose the line.  When this happens, I utilize an irrigation flag at the curb as a reference point.  At the turn, you move it over.  Used the same procedure when spreading the fertilizer in early April.

• David N. in McKinney, TX writes:

Week 3 now is in the books. Watering restrictions here, the yard barely needed a mow from week 1, but since I had no mow last week I felt like I had to go. 

My yard is so tiny, and frankly in such poor condition, that I’m not in any way a major player in #TNML. I’m not in the minors either, or college, not even FCS. AT BEST my yard is junior high, and probably closer to that line between travel ball & house ball. 

However, my equipment & my skills are at worst low Single A. I can cut a straight line with an edger. I keep it trimmed & neat. My equipment is maintained. Decades of experience. 

Shout out & thanks to #Kobalt mowers & trimmers/accessories , #Sears Craftsmsn Edgers, #New Balance Shoes, & of course #DosXX Beer. Check it out in the pics. 

I’d also like to thank my Beautiful Bride, whose skill with the flower beds keeps me on my toes. Right now her game is crushing mine. Way to go Baby Doll. 

I’ve mowed much finer yards in my time, but maybe right here is where these old bones need to be. My goals this year are to get this grass as healthy as it can be and get outside the box on striping. I’ve already seen a massive improvement in invasive species, thanks to pre-season workouts, but I still have a lot of miles to go. Hopefully by the fall the lines I’m trying to put down will pop. 

Meantime, I’m hitting the fundamentals and trying to stay consistent. 

• Dave in Michigan writes:

Week three in the books.

Mow before sundown.

Cinco de Mayo tomorrow.

Drink Buenaveza! 

(AB boycott continues!)

• Joe R. in Virginia writes:

After a week off due to traveling for work and constant heavy rain, I was able to get an early afternoon mow in – just as an another round of rain showers began to fall. I can confirm, as many a TNML veteran has preached: consistently is key during these early season growing periods. Once you fall behind on the mowing schedule, it takes extra effort to catch back up. 

The good news – I can see the herbicide taking it toll on the clover I am desperate to rid from my yard. The bad news – I may have also killed off some of the “younger” grass inadvertently. That, and it looks like I’ll need to put down something for grubs in a couple of patches. 

Only two other neighbors were out mowing on what was a chilly day for May. One was my buddy’s dad who was pinch hitting for his son who’s out of town. If that’s not the spirit of TNML, I don’t know what is. I’ve filled in for him a couple times before as well, but it was nice to see his pops out there – probably in the second half of a TNML doubleheader. Hats off to you!

No garage beers this week. Date night with the wife, and an early tee time in the morning with the boys. 

PS – the Honda engine on my Husqvarna mower has started on the first pull for the past ten years. 


I didn’t get a photo from Joe R.

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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