When the Eagles open up the NFL season at home against the Atlanta Falcons, fans watching at home will be introduced to a new innovation NBC Sports is calling the "green zone."

The "green zone" is basically NBC's updated version of the yellow line, which has been a staple of NFL broadcasts since it was first introduced by ESPN back in 1998.

Shown on third down, the new feature digitally paints the yards between the line of scrimmage and the first down a darker shade of green, showing viewers how many yards a team has to gain to earn a new set of downs.

"We are going to paint, in effect, the area that the team has to go to get to the yellow line, the first down line," Sunday Night Football's Al Michaels explained during Sunday night's preseason matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals. "We know the yellow line is great, it's been around for a number of years, but this will show you exactly how far he has to go at any point in the play."

Initial opinions varied across the sports media world. "Green Zone, yuck," wrote Arizona Republic columnist Kent Somers. "Was there something wrong with the yellow line?" wrote Cowboys.com writer David Helman.

Others were more charitable. FS1 host Colin Cowherd called it a "good idea," while Yahoo Sports analyst and Fox Sports host Brad Evans wrote that the new feature was, "Easy to follow. Pleasing to the eye. Welcomed addition."

Eagles fans will first see the feature on a Thursday night broadcast of Sunday Night Football — whose current executive producer, Fred Gaudelli, introduced the yellow line for ESPN.

Tony Bruno apologizes for ill-timed Madden joke

Tony Bruno, the Philadelphia sports talker who walked away from a high-profile gig at 94.1 WIP three years ago to focus on podcasting, apologized for an ill-advised attempt to be funny following a deadly shooting at a Florida video game tournament.

"Apologies for the Madden tweet," Bruno wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "As someone who was part of the franchise, it was just a knee jerk reaction, wrong and deleted."

On Sunday, as news broke of a shooting at a Madden video game tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., Bruno joked that he's "hearing Madden 19 sucks, but this is a bit much." Bruno deleted the joke almost immediately, but screenshots of the ill-timed reaction were quickly shared by angry followers.

Bruno said he expected a backlash from some over the joke, but not the "vile tripe" that was thrown his way.

"If no one accepts my sincere apology for the mistake, that's there (sic) issue," Bruno wrote in a reply to one follower. "I know my heart is pure, but clowns like you resort to name calling."

Bruno was once a voice on Madden, where he was perfectly cast as a sports radio host, appearing on the game between 2005 and 2007.

NBC Sports Philadelphia shows some skin

Over the weekend, the Phillies continued to expose themselves as a lackluster team after losing yet another series, this time against the Toronto Blue Jays.

But on Friday night, it was NBC Sports Philadelphia that bared all, when it inadvertently aired footage of what appeared to be a naked man chilling in the park outside the CN Tower in Toronto.

The b-roll footage, picked up by Deadspin's Dan McQuade, aired ahead of Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

As Awful Announcing's Matt Clapp pointed out, the footage also aired on MLB.TV.

A man shows some skin in a park outside CN Tower in Toronto Friday night.
A man shows some skin in a park outside CN Tower in Toronto Friday night.