ESPN's 2018 Monday Night Football scorebug.

To go with their new college football scorebug, ESPN has now debuted a new scorebug for Monday Night Football. It’s mostly tweaks on the one used last year (which is pretty much what they’d had since 2015), but there are a few notable changes, including taking the down and distance arrow from the field to the scorebug and making the team names and scores in a larger italicized font. You can see the new scorebug above (via AA’s Ken Fang); here’s a look at the 2017 one (from a clip in this post).

The 2017 MNF scorebug.

As you can see, one big difference is that the down and distance arrow is no longer on the field, but now on the scorebug. And interestingly, when the team going left-to-right has the ball, that arrow moves to the left side of the scorebug. Unusual formations and the players involved are also listed in a bar above the scorebug. Here’s a look at that:

ESPN's 2018 Monday Night Football scorebug.

And, when there’s a flag, that slides in in place of the down and distance marker:

A flag symbol on ESPN's MNF coverage.

And here’s how that looks with a flag on the team moving right to left:

The MNF scorebug with a flag on the team going right to left.

Beyond that, the font for the team names and scores is larger and more italicized (which fits with the college football scorebug changes). It does indicate more of an emphasis on the current score, and it removes the down and distance arrow from the field of play, but that’s not necessarily positive for everyone. Twitter saw some mixed reviews:

The internet is proof that yes, people will complain about anything. But there’s some support for this as well as criticism. We’ll see how that changes over time. Maybe some day, this will be the old Monday Night Football graphic that everyone clamors for a return to.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.