(not one of this year’s prizes. Probably)

As has been Can’t Stop The Bleeding tradition since 1967, when Captain Beefheart’s bracket entitled “Fast and Balbay” won the first CSTBracket, You The Reader are invited to participate in this year’s CSTBracket at Yahoo. What is in it for you? What a fucked-up question that is. Christ, look at yourself. Look at what you’ve become.

Anyway, what’s in it for you: a virtual guarantee of finishing ahead of CSTB correspondent, CSTBracket commissioner (and inventor!) and utterly fraudulent college hoops expert David Roth in the standings, for one thing. Also, a shot at this year’s grand prize: a pair of game-worn Norfolk State University basketball shorts that, judging by the inseam, were worn in games played while either Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush was President. They have been washed since then, but I promise they didn’t shrink. They were designed to expose the bathing suit area, as near as I can tell. They are white and have a Spartan-looking guy on each leg. Drawstring waist. Alta moda Euro-style “one testicle in danger of entering view at all times” cut. It is safe to say that these shorts are the greatest prize in the history of the CSTBracket.

Also, Gerard is usually good for purchasing some old college hoops video game on eBay and adding that to the prize package. So assume there’s probably some Nintendo 64 cartridge with a picture of Todd Day on it in the mix, as well. And you can basically have whatever basketball cards you want from my embarrassingly large stash thereof. If the shorts arrive stuffed with a bunch of Nikolosz Tskitishvili rookie cards, feel free to consider it part of the packaging.

All of which does nothing to explain why you would actually join the league. Perhaps 2009 CSTBracket Grand Champion Chris Owen can explain: “I remember being so mad that my non-money pool bracket got 1st place that I didn’t even pay attention to CSTB for a week or so,” he writes. So there’s that, too!

Anyway, what’s important: it is a private Tournament Pick ‘Em group at Yahoo Sports. The league ID is: 62743. The password is, yes, “CSTB,” without the quotes. One shining moment, etc. I look forward to finishing well beneath you in the standings. All of you. I have some ideas about Baylor that even I don’t really believe in.