ESPN changed 'Monday Night Football' down-and-distance graphic at halftime to satisfy fans

Andrew Joseph, For The Win
Published 9:14 p.m. ET Sept. 9, 2019 | Updated 9:21 p.m. ET Sept. 9, 2019CLOSE
SportsPulse: Our first NFL Sunday is in the books and put to bed many offseason narratives and confirmed others. As Trysta Krick details, this Patriots team could be perfect.
USA TODAYLast season’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasts were plagued with criticism for ESPN’s announcing crew of Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland and Jason Witten. Witten – who struggled at times his first year in the booth – returned to football, but his exit didn’t stop fans from finding something wrong with the latest edition of “Monday Night Football.”This time, it was the presentation.ESPN rolled out a new graphic package for the Saints-Texans game, including a new scorebug. Yet, that scoreboard graphic broke the easiest rule in the book for football: Don’t make the down-and-distance graphic yellow.It makes every play look like a penalty because viewers have grown accustomed to the yellow “flag” graphic in the past two decades of football broadcasts.To make matters even more confusing, that box turned black for a penalty. It made no sense, and fans justifiably ripped ESPN for the ill-advised graphic, so much so that ESPN actually changed it at halftime. Breaking: ESPN is switching away from the new Down-And-Distance graphic it debuted in the first half of Monday Night Football. ESPN heard the fans’ feedback and acted, quick.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 10, 2019Coming out of the break, the down-and-distance graphic was now white. When a flag came out, it turned the standard yellow. All is now right in the world.  AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide