Fan outrage over the signing of quarterback Michael Vick by the Philadelphia Eagles is likely to make the highlights on ESPN tonight as Vick takes the field in his first exhibition game. While Vick gets ready to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars, dog lovers are throwing a tailgate party across town for the 2nd Chance Dogs campaign — a pointed reference to Vick’s second chance in the NFL. The group is trying to raise awareness of dogfighting and encourage adoption of rescued pit bulls.

The signing of Vick two weeks ago sparked protests from fans and animal lovers who were appalled that the Eagles would embrace a player involved in fighting, hanging and drowning dogs.

Vick’s connection to dogfighting earned him 18 months in a federal penitentiary and provides fans plenty of reason to scorn both Vick and the Eagles. But rabid NFL fans don’t need nearly that much reason to hate on a quarterback. For Green Bay Packers fans, all Brett Favre had to do was sign to play with the rival Minnesota Vikings.

Unless you’ve spent the last 15 years in a cow camp up in the mountains without access to a television or radio, you know Favre is the future Hall of Fame quarterback that led the Packers to two Super Bowls and one Championship in the 1990s. What you may not know is that one Vikings fan was so excited about Favre joining the team that she is now under investigation for animal cruelty.

Last Friday, before Favre was to make his debut in an exhibition game with the Vikings, a woman pulled into a Tires Plus in Winona, Minn. She was on her way to Minneapolis but needed a serpentine belt replaced. Told to leave the car for an hour, the woman informed the mechanic there was a goat in the trunk.

The mechanic told news reporters the woman said she intended to butcher the goat. But the goat started crying while they were working on the car, so they opened the trunk to find the 1-year-old goat tied at the feet, and he was painted Viking’s purple and gold with a Brett Favre No. 4 shaved into each side.

The mechanics called police, who turned the goat over to animal-control officers. Police also questioned the woman and have turned the case over to the Winona city attorney for possible animal cruelty charges. The goat was sent to a farm at the request of the city.

Apparently the woman intended to roast the goat in honor of Favre becoming a Viking, which is probably what Packers’ fans would have done had they found the goat wandering around outside their stadium painted purple and gold.