Full confession: I’m in a mowing rut. I’m off-schedule and I have armyworms. Well, my yard does anyway. The pesticide I applied Wednesday night suggested a full 24-hour soak on the yard before mowing, so that meant I had to sacrifice a Thursday night in the name of saving my yard as best I can.
Yes, it’s frustrating. Yes, it means I’ll have to water to save the grass. Yes, it looks horrible, but this isn’t bad compared to what some people are suffering out there. Scroll down and see what Colin right down the road from me is dealing with. His new lawn is gone. I can repair this area fairly quickly. Now it’s time to water and wait for the first freeze to kill off the armyworms.
• Was the humidity turned off in your neck of the woods? It’s been 82 and like 40% humidity all week in this part of Ohio. I drove by Starbucks this morning and the pumpkin spice latte crowd was 15 cars deep.
• I’ve been asked about prizes for 2021 MVPs. Let’s just say I’ve already worked on the prize concept with my wife and she has committed to helping with the project, so we’ll set an end-of-the-year date and get prizes out to the most valuable mowers.
• Next week could be a major turning point in the history of the TNML. More on that later, but I hope to have news to share here in the very near future that would take the TNML to the next level. Trust me when I say your performance is being noticed well beyond league members.
Enjoy your holiday weekend!
TNML member reports:
@OutKickTNML @JoeKinseyexp Impromptu Thursday fishing trip to a buddies In Chincoteague, VA caused me to miss my lawn tonight. So I did what any #TNML member would do – I cut his grass for him! pic.twitter.com/vw4oXrPIuP
— Tim (@Hornet316) September 2, 2021
• There are TNML emails that fire me up — in a good way — and this week Tim in Indiana is responsible for one of those fire in the belly messages.
I’m a longtime TMNL member (well before there was a league in fact, I’ll get to this), first-time e-mailer. I’m part of the proud Carmel, IN/greater Indy TMNL contingent.
You, sir, are a fine American. The work you do gives me welcome daily relief from the grind! Thanks for representing all of us regular/normal guys out there who love our country, sports, brews, and the sense of pride our yards give us! You are building an impressive brotherhood.
Now on to my lifelong TMNL membership. I had the honor of being raised on a farm on the fertile plains of eastern Iowa. One of the many principles my dad instilled in me and my brothers at a young age was the beauty of the Thursday day/night mow. You see, we always had to ensure the property was ready for weekend planned and unplanned “company”. You never knew when neighbors or friends would stop by for a pick-up truck tailgate, barn, garage, or front porch beer with my dad. In fact, our grandma, who lived in town, also picked up on the concept so my brothers and I would also venture in to get the job done there.
Shout out to my sponsors, without them none of this would possible:
Asics, Hawkeye Sports, Washed Up Walk-on’s Pod, Apple Products and some of my favorite sodas: Gable (in commemoration of legendary Olympic gold medalist and former University of Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable), Spotted Cow, Grain Belt Premium, and Leinenkugel’s.
Lastly, I have a quick question on proper usage of TMNL attire. My apologies if you have already addressed this, but it’s something that has been bothering me for a while. I’m a satisfied owner of the TMNL t-shirt – thanks to Maxx (yes, with two x’s) for a smooth purchasing experience. I personally enjoy wearing my TMNL t-shirt around town when I’m running errands and when “company” comes over. I do this to raise awareness in the community and show my pride. It has proved to be a nice conversation starter and people get a chuckle of it when I explain the concept. So far, I have refrained from wearing the TMNL shirt when I mow as I want to keep it nice for my local advocacy efforts.
Did I break a league rule? If so, what is my punishment?
Keep up the great work!
Commissioner response: Great question about wearing the league shirt while mowing. I don’t recommend it. Look, we know what happens to mowing shirts. They’re ruined with sweat stains, stank, grease, oil, fuel, etc. The league shirt (I’m sure Maxx with two x’s appreciates it) is best worn in a comfortable group setting. I wore mine last night to the neighborhood Ohio State watch party. Instant conversation starter.
Great job saving the most comfortable shirt in your dresser for when company comes over. It spreads the word. It’s grassroots marketing. It’s a dream come true for a marketing guru like Maxx with two x’s, and he didn’t even have to come up with the concept!
Welcome aboard, Tim in Indiana. Great first email. Hopefully it’s not the last.
• C.B. in Duluth, Georgia
Joe- First off, full disclosure, I didn’t get a mow in tonight. We live in the North Atlanta suburbs, and my sons had a middle school football game all the way on the south side of town. I thought I was going to have a chance to make it home before dark, but a stop at Mcdonald’s killed that dream. (I did get some incredible video of a lady blasting the manager for messing up her kid’s cheeseburger, but I digress.)
Anyway, not getting a mow in is the bad news. The good news is I have been working overtime bringing new recruits into the fold. First is my buddy Sean who you see below. (Look at those lines!) As it turns out, he’s been in the TNML all along and didn’t even know it. When I told him about the movement, he said, “Oh yeah, I’ve been mowing on Thursday nights for a while now. It just makes sense…frees up our Saturday.” That’s what I’m talking about! Sean gets it.
Then there’s my other buddy Robert. I need a Commissioner ruling on this one. He joined the league last week but had to bow out tonight because it’s his wife’s birthday. Obviously, I’ll defer to your wisdom on this, but I would strenuously object (“Oh, you strenuously object?” A Few Good Men…who’s with me?) to punishing a league member for not botching his wife’s birthday dinner because he had to sneak in a mow first. He assured me he’ll be back next week.
And finally, my buddy John just bought a house and is going mower shopping hopefully as soon as this weekend. I told him not to be afraid to invest in a Weed Eater 22” model from Wal-Mart. Mine’s done me right since the fall of ‘06.
I’ll try to get some pics of Robert and John to send in next week. I may have to get these guys t-shirts. Keep up the good work, and here’s to wide-open Labor Day weekends across the country!
Commish ruling: First off, I’d like to say C.B. is excused this week for missing league night, but working his tail off to bring in new blood. That’s what it’s all about right there. This fraternity/sorority can’t survive without members going out and recruiting freshmen & sophomores.
Next, let’s rule on Robert missing league night because it’s his wife’s birthday. Look, the conventional wisdom around here is still “Happy wife, happy life” and we have to look at what’s coming this weekend — we’re in the middle of a six-day stretch with football, followed by two days off and then another massive stretch of college and NFL. Robert is completely justified in missing league night to celebrate his wife’s birthday. Imagine if he told her it was league night and he had to get a quick mow in. That could jeopardize his entire fall. She’s not forgetting. She’d dial up the football schedule and unleash hell on him in October on a huge football weekend.
Robert doesn’t need that smoke. This was a very savvy move on his part.
As for John going out to buy a mower, that brings back great memories of buying my Toro back in 2010. Oh, the places we’ve gone over the years. Love that mower. Good luck, John. You’ll never forget your first time.
• Ryan S. in NW Ohio is one of those emailers who mixes up his themes on a weekly basis and constantly has a strong message associated with the simple act of mowing his property.
So, generally, I am that guy that doesn’t want any help mowing “my” yard, at all. But, I recently picked up an extra garden tractor for odds and end things around the property.
It just so happened that my better half and most of my children were gone and it was just me and my eldest to enjoy a night of mowing on THURSDAY, bonding.
I gave him a quick lesson on how to work the older machine, let him pick his weapon of choice for the night and off we went. Finished everything in just under two hours and enjoyed a glass of whiskey, well at least I did.
— Philip Torbett (@pTorbett) September 2, 2021
• Paul in southeastern Iowa is back:
I haven’t forgotten about you or the TNML. Tonight was the first mow since I last checked in. Weather has just been absolutely brutal and the grass hasn’t needed to be mowed. Other than the yard looking rough, tonight couldn’t have gone better with the time crunch I was up against.
I pulled into the garage at 5:01. Changed clothes, sent the kids and Mrs. to the park. I was able to start the Stihl FS-56RC up and get to work by 5:11. The Cub Cadet CC600 made quick work of the yard and by 6:19 I had the Echo leaf blower going to finish up the yard. Headed inside at 6:40 to shower before dinner. I was even able to get both kids showered and in PJ’s before dinner. Walked into the living room and sat down at 7:01. Just in time for the UT game.
I wasn’t going to share pictures of the yard but I know I’m not the only struggling to keep it green and looking good.
The Mrs. did a good job and had spaghetti ready shortly after the game started.
Dana B. writes:
Yes Joe, TNML people do it all!! On my way to pick up 60 screaming children, and I’m supposed to make them keep a mask on at all times, while safely navigating tractors, cars, trucks, semis, 12 RR crossings, bad drivers, sometimes severe weather, road construction, occasional fighting on the bus, crying Kindergarteners, the kid that pukes, lovers in the back seats, the Tourette’s kid that randomly starts cussing loudly, harvest combines, and anything else that comes up….for 20 bucks an hour. I NEED the TNML. My sanity depends on it!! And yes, I LOVE kids.
Dana B. about to take kids home from school in the most comfortable bus driving shirt on the planet. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/is0A5uYiVG
— ThursdayNightMowingLeague (@OutKickTNML) September 2, 2021
• Sean C. in Granger, IN has a great message in this week’s email:
As we head down the stretch run, I thought it was a good time to give proper recognition to the sometimes under-appreciated contributors of keeping our lawns looking good. We all know the mower is the franchise player of each individual TNML league member. However, no lawn is complete without quality support. So my focus this week is on my Echo edger and EGO blower. No edging job is complete without these two utility players.
Also, shout out to my neighbor (let’s call him “Jim”). He’s an honorary member of the TNML. Full disclosure, “Jim” mows his lawn 3 times a week, so technically he has a 42.8% chance of mowing on a Thursday anyway. But I at least wanted to mention his efforts.
Have a great Labor Day Weekend!
• Beau in Toledo didn’t send a photo this week, but he has a strong message for all of you who might be thinking of giving up.
Giving up?!? Getting worn down?!?
Ppfftt… Yeah, what the hell ever…
Summer ain’t over until the grass don’t grow and the leaves are all mulched into the garden and/or burned in the firepits here in the 419.
(P.S. We in the 419 have been known to #GrillOut in a**hole deep snow… just sayin’)
And props to Our Southern Brethren who mow well into the Holiday Season!
Got my Thursday Night Stripes in on the Maumee Lawn today, and reporting in as Clay Travis is talking smack to the Left on Hannity… Love That Dude!
Late report, I will admit…
After all, It *is* Mom’s 72nd Birthday(Thank You Lord!!), so there was a MUST in my leaving work early to get an early League Night Mow in so i could get Flowers and #Chick-fil-A nuggets to Da Momma!!
BBQ Chicken (over coals, not flame!) is on the Menu for the Weekend… what’s League Fam plans?!?
Recipes a bonus!!
(Dang… i may have inadvertently started a Whenever We Feel Like It Grilling League!!)
Take Care, Be Safe, cheer on the USA Team in the Solheim Cup here in the Toodle-ee-doo!
@OutKickTNML, Dive bombed by barn swallows every time I mow. It's become rather comical to me. I envision them off in their tree somewhere, hear my mower deck engage, and one of them leads the charge out to war against me with Ride of the Valkyries playing in the background. pic.twitter.com/sqo9zDlNmK
— Steve Nebraska (@nebraska_steve) September 3, 2021
• Ken S. in North Augusta, SC has that perfect amount of grass for someone in the senior division:
Hi, Mr. Commissioner – Reporting in from the Senior Division in South Carolina. As the regular season winds down, I felt it was important to get some of the flowers in the photo (along with the Troy-Bilt mower, and the New Belgium Voodoo Ranger IPA).
Thanks for keeping us focused and motivated through the Dog Days this year!
• Tim G. in Ohio knows the mowing season won’t last much longer, but he continues to get those reports in. This is the same Tim who was up in Michigan clearing trees for his father after straight-line wind damage:
• Dave in Rhode Island went from having to deal with a massive tree downed in his yard to remnants of Hurricane Ida dumping a bunch of rain. This guy is due for a pot of chili at the end of the month. One of those pots of chili where he sits there with his bowl and thinks back on all the hard work he put in this summer:
Disaster narrowly averted again here in RI – we had about 9 inches of rain last night (Ida leftovers) and my beloved garage/mancave flooded! Luckily it’s pitched towards the garage doors and it dried out pretty well over the course of the day today.
Still managed to get the TNML in – starting to feel a bit like Fall around these parts.
Hope everyone has a great Labor Day Weekend – this of all weekends is why we mow on Thursday night! #husqvarna #homelite #echo #buschlatte #USA
— Ron Funcles (@cockybravos) September 2, 2021
Mike T. in Eagle, Idaho never misses a league night:
Beautiful weather here in the Gem State, 85 and 50. Perfect weather for the long weekend and kickoff of college football!
Stripes are looking ok for late summer. We’re being told the irrigation water is being shut off on 9/15/21 so Falls coming to Idaho.
Threw in a picture of my very small vineyard, it’s about 2-3 weeks from harvest. So far my wine making efforts are not so good. Best vintage tasted like MD 20-20 from my high school days.
Hopefully better results this year.
Stay well brother and God Bless everyone effected by Hurricane Ida. We are saying our prayers for them.
Rob in NC is getting things back in order after some early-season weather issues. A tornado ripped up his pool, but in true TNML fashion, Rob powered through this summer:
Hey Joe, been absent the last couple of weeks getting back into the groove of school, sports, and maintaining the side hustle. I’m a 24.5 year PE teacher and my wife is in the system too, so that means you need a side hustle.
I started cutting yards when my 18-year-old senior was about 7 and he was and still is my right-hand man. You talked about what brings me joy….mowing. Yes the kids’ sports and school events over the years, but mowing is it. I complain and stress about getting my yards done but in the end, it helps us out and others.
Over that time I’ve had a lot of truck time with my son and will eventually miss that joy. Got the pool back up after Memorial Day tornado long way to go but getting it. As usual, keep it up Screencaps and TNML…thank you to bobcat Stihl Busch light..enjoy Labor Day weekend.
— joey gregory (@lawnsandscapes) September 3, 2021
• Chris F. in southwest Nebraska writes:
New blades, new cut pattern, and TNML shirt, and DBAP koozy got their first work.
Brothers, warriors, everyday heroes,
This one picture says a lot. Here in #Ohio, the leaves have begun to fall. That means there are only a few Thursdays left. Leaf management and planting what will be #nextseason’s grass is among us! pic.twitter.com/PbAZWkKO8j
— Cory Branham (@MrCoryBranham) September 3, 2021
Army worms have struck hard here in northwest Ohio. My brand new barely year old lawn has been decimated by these things. I've spent so much time and money this year to get it looking nice, and now it's destroyed @OutKickTNML @JoeKinseyexp My #TNML season has ended prematurely😢 pic.twitter.com/VQDBmFfU06
— Colin Thornton (@ColinThornton12) September 2, 2021
• Caleb S. in Georgia has mower issues:
I wish I had a better update this week. It felt good to get an early start this evening and everything was all falling into place….or so I thought. With 65-75% of the yard complete, the mower sputtered a couple times and died on me right in the front yard for all the world to see. After some troubleshooting and diagnostics (my neighbor came over to help also), it appeared my battery was deader than a doornail.
It fired right up with a jump, but wouldn’t run on its own. I’d like to go ahead and thank NAPA Auto Parts in advance for getting the mower back up and going (that will be a Friday morning stop so I can finish). Rather than submit a photo of the half-finished work, here’s a photo of some mowing I did recently around some beehives for the in-laws. I’ll be back there this weekend to help them out again. Have a great weekend.
Finish the Drill,
— Chris Gerwig (@Wiginator) August 27, 2021