Patriots

Patriots

Dear Roger,

I’m writing to express interest in a resolution to the long-standing Deflategate investigation and appeal hearing, but first I want to share a bit of good news. I know you’re super busy, so in case you missed it: We found another Earth!

Well, we didn’t but NASA did, and the details will blow your mind.

Basically, this new planet—they’re calling it Kepler 452b—is about 60 percent bigger than Earth and more than a billion years older, but it’s the first ever near-Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone of a star similar to the Sun. Now it’s obviously not in our solar system. This planet is 1,400 light years away, which is so far that just thinking about it will make your head explode. With current technology, it would literally take about 20 million years to travel from Earth to this new Earth, but still, the similarities are eerie. Kepler 452b needs 385 days to orbit its star; pretty damn close to our 365-day routine. It’s a little farther from its star than we are from the sun, but Kepler’s star is a little brighter, so Earth and Earth 2.0 receive roughly the same amount of solar energy. Even more, according to NASA’s Jon Jenkins, there’s a better than even chance that this planet has a rocky surface; it almost certainly has an atmosphere; and considering its been around for six billion years: “That's substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”

Roger!

Are you following this?

It was only about 20 years ago that NASA began this mission to find planets similar to Earth — and we’ve already found a planet similar to Earth! We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of this limitless universe, but right now, at the very least, we know that somewhere out there beyond our sun lies other suns hosting other planets — and not just a few suns and a few planets. We’re talking trillions of suns and trillions of planets and while Kepler 452b is the most similar we’ve found so far, it’s more than likely not the most similar in existence. There’s more. This is just the beginning, and really, there’s no end.

It’s all so amazing, but at the same time just a little depressing, isn’t it? I mean, think about how far humanity has come. It only took us 66 years to progress from the Wright Brothers first flight to walking on the moon. Today, less than 50 years after that, there’s a window beyond our solar system into unchartered parts of the galaxy. You can only imagine what’s in store 50 or 100 or even 500 years from now, and it kind of sucks that we’re going to miss it. It sucks that we’re basically living in someone else’s Stone Age. It’s a reminder of how little time we have here on Earth, and it’s enough to make even the most career-driven, power-hungry man shudder in the face of his own insignificance; tear off his double-breasted suit, grab his family and disappear forever to some tropical island. Because why not?

Anyway, Roger you need to realize that you’ve now wasted more than six months of your life swimming in a controversy over slightly deflated footballs. Not only that, but you’ve forced so many other innocent people to do the same. That’s careless. It’s borderline evil. I know you think this is all very important. I understand that you have very little connection to the world that exists beyond your self-contained bubble, but that world does exist—and it’s fantastic—and you’re missing it. For every minute you’ve obsessed and stressed over these footballs, think about all the time you could’ve spent with your family or with friends, or staring at the stars wondering what kind of scotch the commissioners drink on Kepler-452b.

My man, this has gone too far. I know you’re sitting there in your office right now, trying to come up with the right way to fix this and save your own ass, but stop it. This is not that important. There’s no right way. There’s no saving your ass. There’s taking a stand for the sake of stubbornness, dragging this out, wasting more precious time and getting embarrassed in federal court. Or there’s exoneration. There’s saying, “You know what? We screwed up. I’ve taken a closer look, I’ve consulted with other experts and we don’t have the evidence. Ted Wells didn’t do his job. Tom Brady is free. We need to be better at regulating footballs in this league and this is exactly how we’re going to do it—”

It won’t be a popular decision, but this isn’t about popularity. Trust me when I say that anyone who applauds and supports a harsh punishment for Tom Brady is going to turn on you the second that Will Smith and those “Concussion” trailers start popping up all over TV. By the time Christmas rolls around and that movie is No. 1 at the box office, you’re going to be vilified on a level beyond anything you’ve ever known. The footballs won’t matter. Tom Brady won’t matter. When you really take a step back and think about it, Roger, none of this matters. So just stop it. Suck it up, release a statement, erase the suspension and disappear back into your hole.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and free the rest of us to do the same.

Follow me on Twitter: @rich_levine