Batten down the hatches for a perfect storm of pontification and punditry

Never has there a been a week like the week we’re entering — a perfect storm in which three or more well-formed fronts of hot-air will be colliding for a solid 7-9 day period. In the coming days, hundreds of hours of airtime and millions of inches of editorial space and terrabytes of server storage will be devoted to filling the black hole known as “the week leading up to…” of 2008.

Normally, this is merely “the week leading up to the Super Bowl” with its non-stop carpet-bomb coverage of a four-hour sporting event (actually, a three-hour sporting event with a really long half-time) that will not be played until next Sunday afternoon. Despite that reality of quantum physics, the pre-game show has already begun.

It would be bad enough if there was just a football game that needed to be talked about for the next 24/7, but alas, that four-hour slot has also become the marketing event of the year, so we’ll also be subjected to a week-long barrage of paint-by-number stories about Super Bowl ads (how many animal spots? can GoDaddy get some more spots banned? how much does a second of Super Bowl time cost?).

But wait, there’s more this year. This is also “the week leading up to….” Super Tuesday, or, please god don’t make me say it, Super-duper Tuesday. A week from Tuesday, when about half the country’s states will hold their presidential primaries and neither party has a clear front-runner. This is unchartered territory, as there’s never been a primary day with so much to talk about — and so many people desperate to do the talking. All week long, every American who’s ever voted will be able to appear on MSNBC, Fox or CNN or or the Huffington Post discussing their theory on why Bill Clinton is spreading the rumor in Birmingham that, if elected, Barack plans to make people there start calling their state, Alaobama.

Oh yeah, and another thing: We’ve still got a volatile market that needs an endless parade of analysts and economists who can point out how on one hand the economy is not really that bad off while on the other, we should all be dusting off that dried food we stocked up in 1999.

This is a week pundits and talking-heads live for.

This is a week during which I read a novel.

Later: David Carr on how Fox plans to mashup coverage of the Super Bowl and Super Tuesday.