This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Jan. 2 Anything's Possible Issue. Subscribe today!
'Twas the night before Christmas,
When all through Oakland,
The fans embraced yuletide
In Black Hole fashion.
Last year the Raiders faithful turned their stadium into the Ho.co, as a dash of Santas spread good cheer among the only NFL creatures stirring that day. (With Christmas on Sunday this year, 12 games will be played on Dec. 24.) As for Scrooges who think red and white clashes with Silver and Black, keep this in mind: Clement Clarke Moore, who first claimed to have written "A Visit From St. Nicholas," is believed to have plagiarized it from a distant relative, Henry Livingston Jr. Which, yes, makes Moore a Raider too.
Occupation: High school teacher
"We went specifically because we wanted to be there at Charles Woodson's last home game. I had to ask permission from my wife to go. I have been a fan of the Raiders since the 1970s. The main attraction to me was that they were Mexican American and at that time, I didn't have anyone else to look up to at that age who identified as Mexican Americans."
Occupation: Truck driver
"I've missed one home game this year. We live in Nevada, so it's five hours there and then five hours back. We do it because it's a commitment we've made to the team."
Kirk Bronsord and Tracy Roberts
Ages: 58 and 45
Occupation: Truck driver and electrician
"Being a Raiders fan is a lifestyle -- not just something to do on a Sunday afternoon."
Occupation: Business owner
"I was born in a Raiders outfit. It was a great early Christmas gift beating the Chargers in overtime last year. I felt like there was an extra warmth in the stadium, like we were one big Raiders family celebrating Christmas."
Ross Woody and Alexanderea Woody
Ages: 53 and 27
Occupation: Director of software development at Oracle, and police officer
Ross: "It was Charles Woodson's last home game, so we were both wearing our Woodson autographed jerseys."
Occupation: Gaming industry surveillance
"This year, I've got a new game-day outfit that will drop at the Christmas Eve game."
"Being at the Raiders game on Christmas Eve was like a Christmas gift in itself. Being with your family, tailgating with your friends and dressing up in the Christmas spirit. I always like to dress in the spirit with my Raiders gear but I added a little pizzazz to it last year."
"We leave it all on the field. We play anybody anywhere, anytime, any day. Sorry the Chargers lost. Just win, baby!"
Occupation: Account manager
"I have been a Raiders fan my entire life. It was born into me. It was never a choice. Black and silver Christmas is the way we like to roll."
Mark Acasio, aka "Gorilla Rilla"
Occupation: Landscape company owner
"I've been a Raiders fan all my life, I've been Gorilla Rilla for 20-plus years and I haven't missed a game going on 21 years. To me, being a Raiders fan means a sense of family, of one nation. I'm proud to sport my silver and black."
"My first job, at 15, was a vendor at Raiders games selling soda, peanuts, hot dogs and pretzels. I fell in love with the home-game environment even though I was working. I would go behind the old bleachers at halftime to sell pretzels to the fans with the munchies back in the day. I was looking forward to becoming an adult so I could afford to buy season tickets."
David Torrez with nephews Armando, left, and Jordan Frausto
Ages: 56, 10, 8
Armando and Jordan's aunt, Cindy Loewer-Torrez (not pictured): "It was Armando and Jordan's first Raiders game. They were 49ers fans, but we turned them."