Will you attend any Mountain Lions games this season?

Leading Off: Ready or not, UFL kicks off this week

Published: Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2012 - 5:36 pm

Really, how good can Friday night's United Football League season opener be between the Mountain Lions and Omaha Nighthawks at Raley Field?

What kind of professional sports league has its teams practice for just one week before playing regular-season games?

Try none, at least none worth watching.

Most high school football programs – heck, most youth leagues – could show the UFL a thing or two about preparing for a season.

We weren't even sure if there would be a fourth UFL season – the third in Sacramento – until somebody decided to get the band back together a few weeks ago.

Players are still being signed to rosters throughout the league as coaches, through no fault of their own, work hard to prepare their teams. Turk Schonert is the Mountain Lions' new general manager and coach, taking over for Dennis Green, who says the team owes him money. Always a good sign for incoming employees.

So with just one week of practice, what can we expect? A lot of penalties. Sloppy play with turnovers and plenty of punts. Do they even know each other's names?

It wouldn't be surprising Friday night to find most of the players wearing those greeting stickers on the front of their jerseys: "Hello, my name is … "

It would be much more friendly for Mountain Lions starting quarterback Josh Johnson – at least we think he's starting – to call a receiver's name instead of saying, "Hey, you, No. 81, run a deep post while No. 85 runs a curl pattern."

On three, ready, break!

What to watch

Baseball, A's at Texas, 5:05 p.m., CSNCA: Oakland tries to trim the Rangers' American League West lead.

Today's poll

Will you attend any Mountain Lions games this season?

• Yes

• No

• Not sure

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Monday's results

Who should start in the Giants' postseason pitching staff?

• Ryan Vogelsong: 31%

• Barry Zito: 69%

Total votes: 123

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Read more articles by Victor Contreras

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