Thursday Night Mowing League: War Of Words Breaks Out Between Nationally Ranked Mowers

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The evolution of TNML…rivalries are good

My phone was blowing up this morning and it centered on a controversy that had broken out in our cherished league that just keeps expanding and bringing on new personalities by the week.

“Some of the TNML guys fighting for mower of the year don’t get it and are talking smack smh that’s not what the league is about,” the person wrote to me at 6:17 a.m.

After investigating the claims, which turned out to be true as TJ Bollmer in the 513 and Jimmy Dobbins in northern Ohio went at it trash-talking each other’s content, I came to the conclusion that this IS SORTA what the league is about.

Sport needs rivalries. The Cowboys need the Eagles. The Eagles need the Cowboys. It moves tickets. Bird vs. Magic was must-see TV. We want to see the best doing battle. It breeds creativity. As alphas, we crave challenges. We want to climb mountaintops.

And for those battling for a national mowing championship, emotions are going to spill over as the tension rises. It’s the middle of July. The national mower of the year rankings have created a new layer to this league.

Yes, there are recreational league members who just want to have fun. Then there are the professionals who desire a challenge and a mountain to climb. That’s what we’re seeing play out between Bollmer and Dobbins. It’s competition. It’s beautiful.

My mowing report:

I’m back on schedule. Rain wasn’t an issue this week. The job is complete and I’m sitting at a healthy 4″ turf deck. The new flagstones are settling in nicely. The flowers look great. The Maumee River driftwood log dropped off by a neighbor fits perfect. We’re really to a point where we can enjoy the rest of the summer.

Week 12 National Mower of the Year rankings:

  1. TJ Bollmer in the 513
  2. Coach Dave Holmgreen
  3. Fink in Illinois
  4. Colt Bradford
  5. Jimmy Dobbins
  6. Hornet Tim….and charging FAST…he has arguably two of the best videos of the summer

Also receiving votes: Mike Freshwater (the guy really is what this league is all about; he lives the mowing lifestyle), JT’s kids, Tyler’s son, Mig’s daughter’s goats, Travis’ son, Ryan Hyatt for his West Texas landscape photo

Last week’s rankings:

  1. TJ Bollmer in the 513
  2. Coach Dave Holmgreen
  3. Jimmy Dobbins
  4. Fink in Illinois
  5. Colt Bradford

This is why we do it

Feel-good stories of the week

Excellent job by the Arlington grounds crew

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Thursday Night Mowing League reports from across the United States:

[Ed. note: This one hit me pretty hard. What a touching moment for a father. It’s impressive to see Americans running with this project and clearly passing on the passion they have for the project to their families. Really, really cool stuff to see.]

• Mike T. in Idaho writes:

Summer is in full swing here in the Mountain West, hot temperatures and low humidity, juts the way we love it!

This picture is a Trumpet vine we have in our backyard, it’s beautiful this time of year, and for all the woke folks of the world , the bees love it.

• Rob in NC writes:

Joe hope you are well and all league members, a long hot one today in NC. Vertical nasty with tools shown by my son. Threw some lime pellets down as well. On the IR next week due to the family beach vacation in Oak Island, NC.

I recommend North Carolina beaches to anyone who has not tried them. I think my neighbor will come in relief for me while we are gone. Look forward to some League cuts tomorrow. Keep it up Joe thanks to Bobcat/Stihl Have a great weekend…Rob NC…PS Ossipee Lake in NH on screencaps great place to visit as well

• Candler B. in Duluth, GA writes:

Joe- I decided to make my sons mow on Wednesday night this week because they had plans today and already bailed on their mowing duties last week because they were at their grandparents’ house. A few minutes after one of them fired up the mower, my wife asked from the other room, “Is today Wednesday?” I was distracted doing something else, and I had no idea why she would be asking that. I replied,  “Yes, it’s Wednesday. Why are you asking me that?” “Shouldn’t they be mowing tomorrow?,” she said. It was a proud moment for me. It really let me know that the TNML has fully permeated the culture of our home.

As far as the mowing goes, we’ve got the front yard absolutely looking as good as we can within reason for this time of year. We even got a new America-themed net for the basketball goal that looks fabulous. The backyard, on the other hand, is in terrible shape. The wiffle ball season (see the mound below) and the heat have wreaked havoc on the turf. We’re at the point now where we’re just riding things out until the mid-September overseed. A positive in the backyard though, is that we have the TNML as our first and only sponsor. There’s no wiffle ball feeling quite like smashing a homer over the TNML flag in right-center!

• Tim G. in the 419 writes:

Didn’t mow on Thursday in the 419. Nothing growing but the buckhorn. Got .5” of rain Saturday morning – just enough to keep the grass green but not enough to make it grow. Took the opportunity tonight to cut down a large volunteer cedar tree that came up by the side of our house a few years ago. Gonna power wash the north side and mulch this weekend.

• Sean C. in Granger, IN writes:

This is a quick one. I mentioned last week that my riding mower has a Dr. Appointment coming up. In the meantime, I’m walking the entire yard. It’s not too bad, it just takes a lot longer. However, I have to admit, it drops really nice lines.

• Brian B. in Madison, Connecticut writes:

I didn’t apply any fertilizer in June so the lawn is not performing well, even with the recent rains.  Week 12 was a did not mow, did not bother with a report.  Being ranked #893 in the second half, I do not see how to rebound in the second half to even break into the top 500.  Anyways:

Weather:  Sundown, 81 degrees, mostly sunny, slight breeze but humid.  Still a dry lawn.

Mowing sponsors:  @HusqvarnaUSA and @newbalance.

Post mowing sponsors:  @ModeloUSA

Pattern:  New Pattern – Attempted a ‘C’ in the lawn to take the mind off the weather.  Does not photograph well.  Only mowed once because the weekend forecast is for thunderstorms, so I wont be using the lawn.

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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