Yes, people with the Mountain West TV network are at an advantage (if also clinically proven to live shorter, less-satisfying lives). Yes, people without the money to go out at night — and here I am speaking of myself — are disproportionately benefitted by the amount of useless conference tourney games they get to (?) watch. And no, there’s not really a way to be good at NCAA predictions, no matter how much time you spend watching the Colonial Athletic Association or Summit League finals. But none of these things are reasons not to join this year’s Third Annual CSTBracket. Sure, the brackets haven’t been announced yet, but if you want to come up with the really excellent/stupid bracket name you deserve, you should probably sign up now and give yourself plenty of time to edit.

(above : not David Roth)
I’m aware — and aware that I’m the only person aware — that this year’s introductory post lacks both the garment-related stylistic frissons of last year’s and the dewy earnestness of the inaugural invite. (Also different: the fact that I promised the first five people who re-upped from last year a photo of me wearing my Corliss Williamson Arkansas jersey. I don’t know if there’s demand for that, but it’s a new twist) For all those differences, though, the stakes are just as high this year as in years past, because the 2009 CSTBracket Champion will receive a new car as many basketball cards as you want from me (Taurean Green/Jarrett Jack dual autograph card…just saying), as well as a complimentary backrub from Rog and…well, I asked Gerard what he thought would be a good look here as a centerpiece prize. “Let’s find a shitty old video game title on ebay,” he writes. “4-6 year old versions of most EA sports games can be had for a few bucks. I’ll spring for it.” Well shit, if he’s buying, let’s start this thing up!

So: same deal as in years past. Go here, to Yahoo Sports’ Tournament Pick ‘Em page, and sign up. The league ID is 49714, password is cstb. The memories of your bracket’s punny name and your inexplicable faith in the Big Sky Conference champs…are forever.

Don’t worry, not really.