Football fans craving action to close the weekend on Sunday night were treated to an NFL preseason game between the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys.

What they didn’t expect was a wrinkle by NBC Sports when it introduced a new ‘green zone’ feature, which was designed to illustrate on third downs how far players need to go at any point during the play to get a first down. Like the shot tracer in golf, the glowing puck and comet trail in hockey, the green zone is one more in a list of graphics and special features that brought a crush of reaction in real time.

Creatures of habit, football fans — and sports fans in general — rarely appreciate noticeable broadcast changes from game to game. By the looks of tweets in response to this change, fans were comfortable with the yellow first-down marker, which has become common on football broadcasts.

There was the occasional fan who seemed to enjoy the new addition, but otherwise, it was universally criticized.

Given this kind of response, it’ll be interesting to see if NBC stays with the feature during the regular season.