EAGLES QUARTERBACK Michael Vick and former Eagles coach Joe Kuharich have something in common.

Both have been in stadiums while planes sporting negative messages have flown overhead.

In 1968, fans hired a prop plane to greet Kuharich with a banner that read "Joe Must Go" during a game at Franklin Field.

Yesterday, an animal-rights group chartered a small plane to fly over the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum towing a banner that read, "Dog Fighter Go Home!" before the Eagles' game against the Raiders.

The group, Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls (BAD RAP) has helped care for 10 of the canines connected with the dogfighting case that culminated with Vick spending 18 months in federal prison.

According to an Associated Press story, about 30 animal-rights protesters showed up outside the stadium yesterday holding signs like the one that read: "NFL Please Add Dogfighting to your code of conduct." Some fans even barked in the stands.

There was, however, at least one pro-Vick fan in attendance.

"It's been a little hostile, but it's not too bad," said Charles Wright, a tow-truck operator from Oakland who wore a vintage Atlanta Falcons jersey bearing Vick's name. "It's like this: Sooner or later, you're going to have to forgive the guy anyway. You may as well get it out of your system."

The coach gets ejected? Oy vey!

The Knicks' 106-91 exhibition win over Maccabi Tel Aviv was delayed 8 minutes when visiting coach Pini Gershon refused to leave the Madison Square Garden floor after being ejected in the third quarter.

Not even an appeal from a higher authority could help.

Rabbi Yitchak Dovid Grossman tried to persuade the officials to allow Gershon to remain. The rabbi is the founder and dean of Migdal Ohr, an orphanage that received the proceeds from yesterday's game.

In the end, the rabbi failed to sway the officials and Gershon and his assistants left the floor.

- Tom Mahon

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