You have ever had
a net in the driveway, front lawn or on your head at McDonald's, send $20. You
ever imagined Angelina Jolie in fishnets, $20. So you stay home and eat on the
dinette. You'll live.
Sporting Goods. You have 255 stores. How about you kick in a dime every time
you sell a net? Hey, NBA players, hockey stars and tennis pros, how about you
donate $20 every time one of your shots hits the net? Maria Sharapova, you
don't think this applies to you just because you're Russian? Nyet!
I tried to think
how many times I have said or written the word "net" in 28 years of
sports writing, and I came up with, conservatively, 20,000. So I've already
started us off with a $20,000 donation. That's a whole lot of lives. Together,
we could come up with $1 million, net. How many lives would that save? More
than 50 times the population of Nett Lake, Minn.
I know what
you're thinking: Yeah, but bottom line, how much of our $1 million goes to
nets? All of it. Thanks to Ted Turner, who donated $1 billion to create the
U.N. Foundation, which covers all the overhead, "every cent will go to
nets," says Andrea Gay, the U.N. Foundation's Director of Children's
Nets work! Bill
and Melinda Gates have just about finished single-handedly covering every bed
in Zambia. Maybe we can't cover an entire Zambia, but I bet we could put a
serious dent in Malawi.
It's not like
we're betting on some scientist somewhere coming up with a cure. And it's not
like warlords are going to hijack a truckload of nets. "Theoretically, if
every person in Africa slept at night under a net," says Gay, "nobody
need ever die of malaria again." You talk about a net profit.
My God, think of
all the nets that are taken for granted in sports! Ping-Pong nets. Batting cage
nets. Terrell Owens's bassinet. If you sit behind the plate at a baseball game,
you watch the action through a net. You download the highlights on Netscape and
forward it on the net to your friend Ben-net while eating Raisinets. Sports is
nothing but net. So next time you think of a net, go to that website and click
yourself happy. Way more fun than your fantasy bowling league, dude.
vignette: A few years back, we took the family to Tanzania, which is ravaged by
malaria now. We visited a school and played soccer with the kids. Must've been
50 on each team, running and laughing. A taped-up wad of newspapers was the
ball and two rocks were the goal. Most fun I ever had getting whupped. When we
got home, we sent some balls and nets.
I kick myself now
for that. How many of those kids are dead because we sent the wrong nets?
? If you have a
comment for Rick Reilly, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.