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Recurrently Generated Football League: Clood

We hunger for the day of parting. One day we shall hunger no more. We are Clood.

Clood crest Tyson Whiting, designer

Because it’s the international break and we’re bored, the writers of Cartilage Free Captain have been experimenting with machine learning and recurrent neural networks. The Recurrently Generated Football League is an outgrowth of that experimentation: a collection of generated fictional English football club names. The stadiums and SB Nation blogs are also recurrently generated. This is a fictional biography of a fictional football club generated by a computer. For science.

Playing on the outskirts of the Cornish village of Vacors Gront, Clood remain as much a mystery as a football team. Although the modern football club was only founded in the 1960s, the enigmatic Clood date back to the very origins of the game—they may even have invented it.

Today they ply their trade in The Nest at Preast Tree, a natural stone amphitheater that seats just under 10,000 people. Standing behind one of the goals is the legendary Preast Tree itself, whose gnarled limbs blot out nearly an entire stand (though the Clood faithful do not seem to mind, or even notice). After every goal, the scorer will walk the ball back and press it gently against its trunk. No matter how little time remains on the clock, no opposing team has dared oppose their right to do so.

This ritual is said to date back to the practices of the ancient Clood, a druwide cult in the Bodmin Moor, with an early form of football at the heart of their pagan beliefs. Worshipers would attempt to dribble past each other to touch the ball against the foot of a sprawling oak tree, the very same Preast Tree that stands in their stadium to this day. The tree takes its name from the many outside religious leaders whose skulls were once stacked on the tree as an offering to the Clood's monstrous unknowable god. The proto-football ritual would eventually replace their practice of human sacrifice, but the principle remains the same, and frankly the equivalence makes people more than a little uncomfortable.

Despite becoming a global brand with their ascent to the Premier League six years ago, one only has to visit The Nest to experience the uncanny aura that still pervades the grounds. Otherworldly chanting rumbles from the supporters in unison, as if pulled forth by some force beyond their control. Away fans have claimed that they often find themselves cheering against their own team as they get caught up in the hive-mind. Players too, no matter where they came from, appear to possess an almost telepathic relationship on the field with their local-born teammates.

While some teams play for glory, and others for money, Clood play for the Day of the Parting. It is said that on the day they finally satisfy the impossible hunger of the tree, the ground beneath the Nest will part, freeing their eldritch god from his eternal prison to consume the world in his jagged maw. It is suggested that The Parting will happen with the final goal that wins them the Premier League. Though most right-thinking people are skeptical, they are nonetheless quietly relieved Clood has yet to finish above mid-table.

Clood kits Tyson Whiting, designer