The existence of the Wildcats began with the 1926 formation of the American Football League by C. C. Pyle, a sports agent who represented star back Red Grange. Pyle's application for a National Football League franchise in New York was rejected as Tim Mara, owner of the New York Giants objected to Pyle proposed intrusion into the Giants’ territory. Armed with a five-year lease at Yankee Stadium, Pyle subsequently announced the formation of the American Football League as a showcase for his client.
The league was also a showcase for another Pyle client who was an All-American on the West Coast: Wilson. Because of the limitations of train (or bus) travel, the National Football League extended only from the Atlantic coast westward to Kansas City, Missouri, and Pyle wanted to tap the talent of college football players along the Pacific. His solution was novel (and one that the more established NFL would copy quickly): establish a traveling team nominally representing Los Angeles and headed by Wilson. The team would be based in Moline, Illinois (home of the Rock Island Independents, which jumped from the NFL to the AFL) and would have no home stadium. Virtually all of the players of the team attended colleges sited west of the Rocky Mountains.
The team was owned by C. C. Pyle and Red Grange, who also owned another AFL team (the New York Yankees) and had stock in a third (the Chicago Bulls). The three teams and league champion Philadelphia Quakers were the only four teams (of the original nine) still in existence at the end of league play on December 12, 1926. Upon the completion of a barnstorming tour, the Wildcats closed up shop after only one year of existence.