VIDEO: Jim Gardner looks back at Philly sports parades

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A crowd began to grow hours before the start of the Philadelphia Eagles Championship Parade.

While this is the first Super Bowl Parade in Philly, this is not the city's first championship parade. Not by a long shot.

It was May 21, 1974, when Philadelphia staged its first championship parade, going wild for the Flyers.

They had just beaten the hated Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final, and the newly hockey-crazed city turned out to thank the Broad Street Bullies.

On October 22, 1980, a half a million fans lined the parade route for the Philadelphia Phillies. 800,000 more congregated at JFK Stadium.

These were the Phils led by Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw

Phillies fans were starved. It was the first World Series since 1950, and first World Championship ever.

Then came June 1, 1983; they put the crowd at 1.7 million to cheer the NBA Champion Philadelphia 76ers.

This was the Sixers team of Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, and Moses Malone.

Coach Billy Cunningham said, "I just hope every one of you here feels they're a part of that trophy." Did we ever.

And what a day it was on October 31, 2008.

They said 2-million fans overwhelmed the transit system, but they wouldn't be stopped from a public show of adoration for this beloved team.

Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell and Brad Lidge.

A team for the ages, but the last team to give us a parade. Until Thursday.

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