Though Thanksgiving may have come and passed, the period of self-reflection and counting our blessings for what we are fortunate to have in our lives does not end.
Athletes, sports franchises and fan bases are no different. Every now and again, the industry and professional athletics give themselves moments of introspection, to acknowledge all that they are grateful for. After all, the wild world of sports is a very unique profession, where owners, players and fans all have some impact on the business and some satisfaction in the result.
This year, for the first time in nearly a decade, Oakland Raiders fans have plenty to be appreciative of. After nine seasons without a winning record, the Raiders have staked themselves to sole possession of first place in the AFC West with five games to go. Should they keep their top spot, the Raiders will earn a trip to the playoffs, something fans have been longing for since 2002. A postseason berth would surely be the ultimate gift this holiday season.
Here are five things Oakland Raiders fans are thankful for this year.