It’s usually never too early for a palate cleanser, but it *is* too early for a palate cleanser about last night’s unfortunate “Ted Cruz after dark” Twitter, er, mishap. There’s nothing to say about that that isn’t obvious, anyway. Either one of Cruz’s interns forgot he was logged into the senator’s account during his “down time” or the porn tweet was deliberately liked as part of some characteristic too-clever-by-half Cruz scheme to make him seem more “relatable” ahead of next year’s election.

So let’s cleanse the palate with this instead. If you missed Monday Night Football, here’s Sergio Dipp, late of ESPN Deportes, making his debut on the big show and sounding like Billy Madison with a head injury.

What happened? Not with the sideline report; clearly that’s just a case of nerves. What I mean is, what possessed him to film the maudlin reaction to the online tittering below after the game? He was handling it so well, with a touch of humor, on social media to that point. And then, agony:

Did ESPN threaten to fire him or to not let him do MNF anymore? If so, Dipp should know that they’re bluffing: They’ve already fired everyone else so he has to be the sidelines guy by process of elimination. Besides, all he needs to do to get back in their good graces is say something woke about Colin Kaepernick or Confederate statues. Cheer up, buckaroo.

A clock-and-dagger theory from a Twitter pal: Maybe ESPN is deliberately trying to tank its game coverage in hopes that the NFL will let it out of one of its many crushingly unaffordable TV contracts. The flaw in that theory, though, is that off-field silliness like this is increasingly the only watchable thing about this otherwise unwatchable league. You grumble about the national-anthem protests but the only suspense about a 49ers game anymore is whether anyone will kneel before kickoff. At the rate we’re going, Dipp will be the color guy on Monday night next season just to keep things lively.