Challenger mashes couch potato champion’s dream
A mighty spud has fallen.
Lombard’s resident couch potato failed to make it a three-peat in the Ultimate Couch Potato Contest at Chicago’s ESPN Zone sports bar. Jason Pisarik, 34, had been the reigning champion for two years, winning last year after parking himself in a recliner for almost 40 hours straight.
But this year, after starting to watch nonstop sports programming at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day, he only made it to 38 hours, calling it quits around midnight Thursday, leaving two other men to duke it out.
“There were a few factors,” Pisarik said. “I was getting tired. I had a lot of fun doing it, but I was ready to pass on the torch to somebody else.”
Jeff Miller, a 24-year-old from Chicago, won the competition shortly after 2:30 a.m., beating Pisarik’s record of 40 hours by about half an hour.
“They deserved to win,” Pisarik said of Miller and the runner-up, Jon Cline of Markham. “These guys both really wanted to win.”
Pisarik was favored to win, said Brian Hanover, regional marketing manager for ESPN Zone.
“Experience counts a lot in this competition,” Hanover said. “A great champion has fallen.”
The competitors sat in recliners in ESPN Zone’s screening room, which has a wall of 13 televisions, all broadcasting sports. They were given one five-minute break every hour and one 15-minute “bathroom break” every eight hours, per Guinness World Record rules for this event. The rest of the time they had to watch TV.
While Miller beat Pisarik’s record, the world record wasn’t threatened. It stands at 69 hours and 48 minutes, set in September 2005 by Suresh Joachim of Canada.
As the reigning champion, Pisarik was invited back to compete. His challengers were selected after submitting 200-word essays on why they would make the ultimate couch potato.
He said he wouldn’t be applying to compete again in future years.
“I’m planning on going into retirement,” he said.
Miller won a grand prize package worth more than $5,000, including a high-definition TV and a recliner. But Pisarik didn’t go home empty-handed — he also won a recliner with his favorite team’s logo on it.