Sunday, January 06, 2008
A Manhattan librarian emerged as a champion couch potato after three rivals gave in to sleep deprivation or nature's call. Stan Friedman won the ESPN Zone Ultimate Couch Potato Competition, which began Tuesday morning at the ESPN Zone restaurant in Times Square. The event ended Wednesday afternoon after more than 29 grueling hours of continuous sports viewing — mainly college football bowl games and endless highlights loops.
The four participants, sitting in recliners in front of a dozen 42-inch high-definition plasma televisions and a couple of 14-foot HD projection TVs, could order unlimited food and drinks, but they weren't allowed to go to sleep or leave their recliners except for restroom breaks once every eight hours.
Friedman, a research librarian whose favorite sport is baseball, was declared the victor when runner-up Nate Lopez ran to the bathroom before the allotted break time. He won a $5,000 prize package including a huge TV, a cozy recliner and a trophy with a potato on it. "I have a 350-square-foot apartment, so I don't know what I'll do with the TV," he said Thursday. "But I'll make room for the recliner."