November 23, 2006


Nothing But Nets (Rick Reilly, 4/25/06, Sports Illustrated)

I've never asked for anything before, right? Well, sorry, I'm asking now.

We need nets. Not hoop nets, soccer nets or lacrosse nets. Not New Jersey Nets or dot-nets or clarinets. Mosquito nets.

See, nearly 3,000 kids die every day in Africa from malaria. And according to the World Health Organization, transmission of the disease would be reduced by 60% with the use of mosquito nets and prompt treatment for the infected.

Three thousand kids! That's a 9/11 every day!

Put it this way: Let's say your little Justin's Kickin' Kangaroos have a big youth soccer tournament on Saturday. There are 15 kids on the team, 10 teams in the tourney. And there are 20 of these tournaments going on all over town. Suddenly, every one of these kids gets chills and fever, then starts throwing up and then gets short of breath. And in seven to 10 days, they're all dead of malaria.

We gotta get these nets. They're coated with an insecticide and cost between $4 and $6. You need about $10, all told, to get them shipped and installed. Some nets can cover a family of four. And they last four years. If we can cut the spread of disease, 10 bucks means a kid might get to live. Make it $20 and more kids are saved.

So, here's the ask: If you have ever gotten a thrill by throwing, kicking, knocking, dunking, slamming, putting up, cutting down or jumping over a net, please go to a special site we've set up through the United Nations Foundation. The address is: Then just look for the big SI's Nothing But Net logo (or call 202-887-9040) and donate $20. Bang. You might have just saved a kid's life.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2006 11:40 PM

Hey, just $10 will buy one net.
Nice way to start a day of thanksgiving!

Posted by: dcj at November 23, 2006 8:56 AM

OJ - in case anyone does not understand your headline, here's my take: Rachel Carson is personally responsible for 3,000 deaths a day in Africa alone. Talk about a silent spring.

Posted by: Fugate at November 23, 2006 10:56 AM

This has to be a spoof. Nets??? Where are they supposed to be go? On prams? On strollers? On bed posts? Or are they similar to burqas and cover the child head-to-toe? Are there nets large enough to cover the entire soccer field including the grandstands?

If it's okay for nets to be treated with insecticide, why not just treat the mosquito breeding areas instead?

Posted by: erp at November 23, 2006 12:33 PM

Dang! Thought this was going to be a Rachel Ray takedown. This is a good idea.

Have a good Thanksgiving, everyone.

Posted by: Rick T. at November 23, 2006 5:15 PM