The new, 22-team pro league doesn’t start until the fall — and Sacramento’s club doesn’t have a name yet. But with hype already in full force, let’s look back at Sacramento’s last gridiron squad — the Sacramento Mountain Lions (cue the copyright-free NFL Films-esque music).
🏈 The story
As part of the second launch of the United Football League, the Mountain Lions began their life as the California Redwoods (oh snap!) in the fall of 2009, putting together a 2-4 record in the inaugural season, where home games were played in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.
Under an ownership group that included Paul Pelosi and George Zimmer (you know, the Men’s Warehouse guy), the team permanently relocated to Sacramento the following season and adopted the Mountain Lions moniker — promptly mustering up a meager 4-4 campaign in 2010.
The team was unable to find a high level of success, ending the truncated 2011 season at 2-3. Legal and financial problems plagued the league, forcing its unceremonious end before the 2012 season could kick off.
🏈 The stars
Some of the team’s notable personnel include (nicknames our own):
- Dennis “They Are Who We Thought They Were” Green: head coach, 2009-2011
- Daunte “I Love Anyone Who Scores Five Times On The Cowboys” Culpepper: quarterback, 2010
- John David “Hey, That’s The Guy From That Chris Nolan Movie” Washington: running back, 2009-2012
- Mike “Can’t Hide From The Kelce Brothers” McDaniel: running backs coach, 2009-2010.
- Josh “The 49ers QB Curse Is Real” Johnson: quarterback, 2012
While we’re sad the team never saw the on-field success that some of our city’s other football teams have enjoyed, the fact that the team played its first home game in front of a reported 20,000 fans excites us for what the future of football may look like in the City of Trees.