Thursday Night Mowing League: Word Is Starting To Spread Far & Wide

Videos by OutKick

TNML Commissioner’s Report:

I want to start off the week by saying you guys have once again knocked it out of the park. Seriously. I go into each week thinking the reports are going to slow down and then I sit here and work on this post for three-plus hours going through emails, writing responses, editing, compiling, checking the social media channels, answering DMs.

This week, South Carolina was well represented after weeks of being bombarded with rain. If I remember correctly, a hurricane went through the Palmetto State and caused havoc which threw off league night. In fact, the south IS BACK. Georgia is back in the game. Louisiana is here to play. And new southern state, Texas, just doesn’t take many Ls. You guys can’t miss the story below on Kelly in Dallas and her father, Phil. I believe they’re the first father-daughter TNML tandem.

We’re starting to get stories about how people are reacting to league gear. Let me know the reactions you’re getting. Remember, when people ask you about Thursday Night Mowing League and why you do it, the real answer is “because now my Saturday is wide open.” These non-believers can keep burning their Fridays and Saturdays mowing their lawns. One day, they’ll see the light.

It’s so simple, but the non-believers just haven’t seen the light yet, or they’re retired and don’t play by any rules.

TNML Starter Kit

Moving along, it’s time for my personal mowing report. The Toro deck still sits at 3″ as I continue to work my way to a 4″ depth. I need to sharpen the blade before I go to that height, but after two solid weeks at a 3″ cut, I’m starting to see results. The yard is as green as a TNML hat. This week I mulched the front beds with a black triple shred to go along with the 3″ cut. I am ashamed to have let the front beds go as long as I did this summer without a mulch dump.

But now it’s done and I’m back in the game. One thing I need to work on is my edging. I need to clean up the lines and really get my head back in that game. My big problem is that I went away from my gas edger. The battery-powered edger just can’t get the job done how I like it, so it’s time to bring back the two-stroke to get the job done.

And how about this weather report…upper 70s and low 80s for the next 10 days. I need the mosquitos to take a hike in August. July was beyond brutal in this part of NW Ohio.

I’m going to end it there. This post is at a 3,000-word count, so I’ll let league members have the floor and go to town with their own reports.

Incredible week. Keep it up. It’s spreading.

Commish Kinsey

TNML Reports:

Doug J. in Nebraska checks in:

Well, Joe, I had a decision to make yesterday when I was booking my flight home to Omaha from San Antonio after a work trip.  I could sleep in and catch a later flight that would get me home too late to mow or I could book the early flight and be back home by 2:30 with plenty of mowing time.  I bit the bullet and set the alarm for 4:30 am to catch the early flight.  
I got back to Omaha to a pure sweltering steam bath.  It was hot in Texas, don’t get me wrong but the humidity and heat was off the charts today in Nebraska.  After unpacking, grabbing a bite to eat and talking with the family I decided it was time to get the league shirt on and get behind the mower.
I decided to swing by the mailbox before I started and guess what was sitting in a nice box ready for Thursday night mowing?  My new TNML hat!  That was just the motivation I needed to crank this one out in the muggy afternoon heat bath.  I quickly bent that hat into proper mowing shape and took care of the lawn and put the first sweat ring of many on my new Thursday hat.
Now I am relaxing and going to catch a nap while my 16-year-old is babysitting.  She and I have a midnight date tonight when Netflix releases the new Outer Banks season.  She is so excited and now with the lawn mowed, my nap coming and a short work day tomorrow, I should be able to pull off an episode or two with her tonight.  TNML, thanks for making life better!
Seriously thanks for knocking it out every day Joe!

Corey L. emails:

Late finish in Baton Rouge, but lucky enough to dodge the evening thunderstorms and now ready for the weekend! Requesting rule clarification regarding TNML uniform: I appreciate the elevation of old tennis shoes, but growing up, my old man was strictly work boots and long pants when it came to yard work. Trust me, that attire was much more comfortable in the mountains of East TN than here in BR, but I guess it’s one of the many Dad lessons I still follow. Is that a yellow flag? Really enjoy the column!

Commish ruling: If you can stand to wear work boots and long pants in Baton Rouge this time of year, I’m not about to go all Roger Goodell and institute a gym shoes and shorts rule. Holy crap that’s taking me back to a summer job I had as a 16-year-old weed wacker for the Montgomery County (OH) Engineers Road Department. They would send us down into this drainage ditch dubbed the Amazon Rainforest where weeds were six feet high. Trust me, Corey, I’m never going back to those clothes and that heat. Nothing but respect, my man. And what a beautiful dog.

It’s emails like this one from Kelly that puts the TNML into perspective for me. Her dad was so pumped up about TNML that he starts telling the family about it. I don’t even know if dad has sent in a report, but he’s out there emotionally charged up — in a positive way!! — to the point where Kelly and her husband determine they want in on the fun.

Think about the last time you were around your whole family and the conversation was dull and you couldn’t wait to get out of there. Now imagine Kelly’s dad bringing up how he joined a mowing league. You did what? I can hear it now. It’s an instant conversation piece. Kelly and her husband recognized it immediately.

Buy her a shirt, dad!

Kelly writes:

Hi Joe!

This is my first submission for TNML. My dad shared the league with the whole family this week so my husband and I knew we had to make an entry. We’re in Dallas, TX and have St. Augustine and Zeon Zoysia lawns with tons of edging each week as you can see. It’s a wonder we’re able to keep the yard mostly green with watering restrictions and I think we’re the only ones on our block that don’t hire a lawn service, so we try to keep things looking very professional over here!
I hope I get to be in the post this week, I am expecting my dad to get me a TNML shirt if I make it!😊
Well, well, well…look what I have here, Kelly. It’s a message from your father!

John J. in York, PA titled his email: “My yard looks better than Kelly Kapowski.”

Now that I got your attention with the most clever subject of an email you got all day, I absolutely love your work. Been waiting all summer to finally get a Thursday where I could join the TNML. Between coaching my daughters hoops team and lots of late work nights, it finally happened I was tempted to cheat many times and send you a pic from another night but I had to uphold the integrity of the league and despite an afternoon thunderstorm I got the acre plus done.

Thanks for being the sanest man on the internet and knowing that all of us average, hard-working guys out there just wanna read something each morning that makes us laugh and feel good about the world. Your work is very much appreciated….so much so that I can excuse your egregious error of making Busch light the official TNML beer(everyone here in rural PA knows that Natty Light is the only true mowing beer). Keep up the great work and keep mowin.

Commish response: I feel like Busch & Natty are pretty much interchangeable, and I don’t want to get in a mowing beer war of words right now with John! Instead, I need John to tell me about the Wiffle ball battles waged in that yard. Look at that basketball court. That yard definitely has stories.

Also, I feel like every great yard needs a huge tree for shade and/or climbing. John pretty much has a dream yard for an 8-year-old.

Dave in Rhode Island’s son wins for photo angle of the week:

Another week, another league entry – this time I enlisted our son to grab a drone shot of the front 40 nasties. Grass conditions are much more telling from above, battling later-summer crab grass and drought conditions…t-storms on the way this evening will hopefully offer some relief…

Shout out to my trusty @husqvarna pusher, @echo trimmer and @buschlatte post-mow beverage…

And now here’s a report from Tom in Connecticut, who is the father of Dave in Rhode Island.

Both my boys recommended I send you my entry for TNML. As a 74-year-old Air Force veteran I still maintain a great lawn (thanks to rain in CT this year, and some good refreshments) with my 21″ Craftsman self propelled mower. Enjoy OUTKICK and the TNML contributions. 
BH 7 5/8 

(Ed. note: Dave in RI tells us that they call dad ‘Big Head’ because of his 7 5/8″ head size!)

Commish response: Why do I feel like sitting in a lawn chair and talking to Tom is one of those things I need to do? I love how kids are getting their parents involved. Parents are getting their kids involved. Wives are doing work. This is spreading like wildfire.

Beau in Toledo celebrated TNML by watching a guy mow at Fifth Third Field:

Mike in Idaho, who bought his Honda with the Trump Bucks, writes:

Happy to report the “heat dome” over the mountain west has subsided a little and rain is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. (The lightning storm can stay away.)
To celebrate cooler weather, “Spuddy Buddy”, our state mascot here in Idaho, (famous potatoes) is having a beer on “The Donald”.

P.S. I raised the deck on “The Donald “ getting ready for fall

Tim G. in the 419, who has missed like one week since this started at the beginning of June, writes:

Mowed at 4.5 inches this evening since we had quite a bit of rain this week in the 419. Might need a Monday mow to get back where we need to be at 4” by next Thursday. Had a tree go down a while ago and I’m burning out the stump tonight with Mich Ultras after hours to celebrate a job well done!

I need to tell u that we are having so much fun with the TNML. Thanks again for creating this!

Another TNML legend, Kurtis J. in Toledo is back and he never misses with his reports. They’re spot on:

A true league nightcap with a post dusk finish time that led to mosquitoes and bugs peppering my grill throughout. With a mower that requires double hand lever engagement, I had to just put my head down and let the stripes guide me.

Like Kurtis in Toledo, Ryan S. in NW Ohio is another guy who just gets it. They’re pretty much the TNML offensive line. Guys with high mowing IQs. They’re definitely league members who get that one final look at the yard — one hand on the hip, another on a drink — before they call it a day as the sun is going down.

Ryan writes:

Full disclosure, I had a hard time sleeping Wednesday night anticipating League Night. As I awoke League Morning my soul was crushed to once again see heavy dark sky’s and yet again, rain falling. I continued my day at work, disgusted that I would be rained out, again.

But, the sun Gods were alive and well this afternoon because as I returned home the sun was shining and a smile grew upon my face.

I grabbed my choice of weaponry for the mow, climbed upon the workhorse, and went to work my second job, which doesn’t even seem like work. Something was clearly amiss though because my lines were off. I’m assuming it was the all-day dread of not being able to play tonight got to my head. By the end of the evening, I finished off the yard ashamed of the mowing that I had just completed, but it was done.

Tonight is a “no beer” night, as a glass of whiskey was necessary.

Ken S. in North Augusta, SC has an inspirational story to share with those of you who might be on the DL. We don’t quit!

Dear Commissioner K –

I’ve been enjoying the TNML since it’s inception, and I wanted to send in my initial entry (Probably should be in the Senior Division). My yard isn’t real big, but I enjoy it when it looks good. We’ve been fighting a lot of rain and heat here in South Carolina, so it can be a challenge. Here’s my yard, just mown today, with the old Toro push mower, the Yard Weasel edger, shoes and a well-earned Voodoo Ranger IPA, from New Belgium Brewery.

There’s a little bit of a backstory here, though, that I thought I would share –

Three years ago, I couldn’t even mow my lawn…degenerative osteoarthritis had me on the DL! My wife, and local teenage kids were mowing for me, weeds were out of control, and grass was creeping over the patio. Finally, I bit the bullet and had both knees replaced (not at the same time!). Today, thanks to my surgeon (Kelly H) and my physical therapist (Alyson O), I’m back in the game, feeling better than 20 years ago!

Lo and behold, just as I was getting the yard back into shape, you founded the Thursday Night Mowing League! What incentive! What inspiration! Seeing what different people are doing around the country is great! I look forward to it every week, and share it with my wife – she enjoys it, also.

Thanks very much for all your hard work!

Paul McE. writes:

Checking back in from Southeastern Iowa. After some work obligations, weather issues and an unfortunate Saturday afternoon mow session, it felt good to get back in the groove on a Thursday night. I put the dog up, sent the Mrs. and the kids to the park, so I would have no interruptions and could focus on the tasks ahead of me.

It might be a little unorthodox but I’ve started using my Stihl FS-56RC trimmer before mowing. I hate trimming and now I get it out of the way first. I can fully enjoy the mow with the Cub Cadet CC600 and not have the dread of knowing I still have to trim. After the vertical lines were mowed it was time to get out the trusty Echo leaf blower to clean up all the grass clippings. It was just another great night with all the equipment performing how it should.

Weather has been rough and a couple of areas of the yard are showing the struggles of no rain and the sprinklers just can’t keep up.

Scott S. checks in:

Please see my submission for Thursday Night Mowing League from Fort Wayne.

One of the benefits of mowing is that it gives me an excuse to enjoy some Red Man.

The shoes just turned 18, and Yuengling was my grandfather’s beer of choice so it holds a special place in my heart.

Commish response: 18 years out of yard shoes seems insane until I start thinking of the shoes my dad wears for mowing. There has to be a psychological study out there that looks into the mindset of men when they have to give up their mowing shoes. I like to have a backup pair ready to go in case there’s an unexpected sole blowout. That said, I cannot beat 18 years. What a run, Scott!

Candler in Duluth, GA put the kids to work on league night to make the HOA go away:

Joe- I’ve enjoyed the TNML all summer. Thanks for putting it together. This one’s for all the dads out there who are grinding out sleepless nights with babies or who are exhausted from chasing toddlers around. Just know that they WILL grow up and you CAN make them do yard work!

My 13-year-old twins and I just took care of business. One mows the front yard, one mows the back, and I handle the edger and blower.

We even laid down some fresh pine straw, and they stained the fence earlier this afternoon. (Don’t be too impressed with that though. I only made them do it because the HOA sent me four notices and threatened fines.). Needless to say, our Saturday is wide open now. Keep up the good work. There’s a lot of season left for us in Georgia…we have to mow until October.

Commish response: Love how Candler mentions Saturday being wide open. It’s the real reason we do it.

Jeremy M. in Summerville, SC writes:

Name is Jeremy, this is my first submission. Thanks for all your posts, makes my mornings!

John H. suffered through the heat on league night to get the job done. No quit!

92 degrees with a heat index of 100 here in Chapin, SC tonight but the black, #3 Craftsman was up to the task as it has been since 2007. It’s Miller time, the champagne of beers awaits.

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.


Leave a Reply
  1. Keep up the good work TNML Commish and Crew! This is one of my weekly highlights on Outkick now. Love it. For the record, got the job done last night just didn’t take time to submit as I got done early enough to take the wifey on a date night.

  2. Seeing how this has grown truly brings a smile to my face and renews my faith in humanity. This is the type of community I enjoy being a part of. Thanks for this Joe! God Bless America!

Leave a Reply