Judging by the activity around SB Nation's NFL blogs, football is definitely back. Fans are buzzing around our communities, focusing on training camp and preparing for preseason games. There was a thought at one point that NFL fans wouldn't come back in droves following the NFL lockout but many of them have come back stronger than ever.
That said, the NFL recognized after the lockout ended that they had some work to do with their fans. The entire lockout process clearly demonstrated that the fans don't have a voice when it comes to labor negotiations.
So NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the rest of the league's 32 teams are preparing a thank you for sticking around.
In a move announced on Monday, the league has decided that each team will present a jersey to 90 supporters of the team. The jersey's name plate will be left blank and players, coaches and owners will create personalized messages to the fans in that space.
Some fans will be running out with the team in the tunnel of a preseason game while other teams will hold ceremonies before a preseason game recognizing the fans.
Every fan won't ever be properly thanked for what the NFL put fans through this offseason but this is an important step in recognizing the fans' role.