NEW YORK – On your mark. Get set. Watch!
For many sports fans, New Year's Day means lounging around the living room and watching college football with a bag of potato chips.
Four people began putting their laziness to the test Tuesday in the ESPN Zone Ultimate Couch Potato Competition, which kicked off at the ESPN Zone restaurant in Times Square.
The participants, sitting in recliners in front of a dozen 42-inch high-definition plasma televisions and a couple of 14-foot HD projection TVs, will try to watch the most continuous hours of televised sports. They can order unlimited food and drinks, but can't sleep or leave their recliners except for restroom breaks once every eight hours.
They'll be shooting for the Guinness World Records mark for watching televised sports — 69 hours and 48 minutes straight, ESPN Zone said.
"The participants will basically be competing at doing nothing," ESPN Zone regional marketing manager Susan Abramson said in a statement. "But it'll take extraordinary mental and physical stamina to endure the conditions of watching TV for that long."
The contest kicked off at 11 a.m., and all four were going strong by late Tuesday afternoon, an event spokesman said.
To get into the competition, contestants had to write 200-word essays describing why they had what it took to mash the competition and be the ultimate couch potato.
The winner will receive a prize package worth $5,000 that includes — you guessed it — a high-definition TV and a cozy recliner.