"Barney and Clyde," one of the newest comic strips on the scene, has a great sense of the history of comics. Gene Weingarten, co-creator of the strip, has shared his passion for comics over the years with readers of The Washington Post and chats on WashingtonPost.com.
So having a punchline of Sarge (Beetle Bailey), Dagwood (Blondie), Jughead (Archie), and Wimpy (Popeye) to a hot dog eating contest fit the spirit of the comic strip.
The strip stars two long-ago grade school teammates, one a millionaire (Barney) and the other is homeless (Clyde). Today's strip does give another motivation for a competitive eating contest; if you're homeless and you're hungry, competitive eating is more about not being hungry.
Seeing these legendary comic figures in a competitive eating contest would intimidate anyone, real or fictional. Though if you are in such a contest, you may be competing with others, but you also compete within yourself to see how well you can do, and grow, er, improve over time.