Groups both for and against Vick at Linc

Michael Vick throws during warm-ups before tonight's Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

From Daily News staff writer David Gambacorta ...

In the early evening around Lincoln Financial Field, the crowds were starting to gather but the expected showdown between animal right advocates and supporters of Michael Vick had yet to fully materialize.

A small protest group of eight people was near the subway station at Broad and Pattison, headed up by Peter Bentivegna, of Media, and with Lucky, his family’s dog that was rescued from a shelter.

“Ninety percent of the people we’ve encountered are in support of Michael Vick,” said Bentivegna, who said the group was an informal collection who decided to come out as individuals, not part of formal organization.

As he spoke a motorist slowed down and yelled from the window, “Vick is great.”

Asked why he was there, Bentivegna said, “I hope people will get active in rescuing or adopting dogs.”

Another woman held up a sign that had the words, “Ethics over athletics.”

Closer to the stadium, three teenagers held up a white sign with picture of pit bull and the phrase, “Murderers are not role models.” They were surrounded by media and a group that identified itself as part of the National Exodus Council.

Ronald Armour, a member, said they were out in support of Vick because “PETA is using distortion.”

“What I want to ask PETA is where we were you when they were sicking dogs on people in the civil right movements.”

Philadelphia NAACP President J. Whyatt Mondesire arrived about an hour before game with about a dozen people.

"We’re here to show support for Michael Vick," Mondesire said.

He said the Eagles have told the NAACP that it will get the chance to meet with Vick in the near future. He said the group hoped to get Vick involved in some community minded activities.

He also spoke of a "one-sided dialogue" on talk radio that was tinged with racism.

One thing that is apparent among the fans is that many people have purchased Michael Vick jerseys.