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Street level: 23 photos of the Villanova championship parade

What was it like in Center City as preparations were underway for the Wildcats? It looked and sounded incredible.

Have you ever gone to a Center City parade with thousands of Main Line moms? It’s quite the experience. So while thousands upon thousands of Villanova faithful and Philly natives with nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon convened on Dilworth Park waiting for the Wildcats to make their way to City Hall, there were plenty of things to and a ton of hilarious things to overhear.

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It was cold enough for the Santa hat, that’s for sure.

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There are a lot of Main Line moms.

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A lot.

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A lot of kids took off from school today. Of the tens of thousands of people a lot—a lot—were kids. Won’t someone think of them!

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The girl holding that sign came from New York for the parade. She was not pleased that there were people on the street in front of her, an hour before the team made its way down Market St.

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How often do you hear people at a Philadelphia event openly rooting for the police to assault people? Yes, Nova fans took “down in front” to a whole new level.

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This was the most pleasant Nova fan we saw all day. She was not with the guy who demanded the police remove the people who stood in front of his kids. Demanded.

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There were many fire trucks and EMS in the parade. Around this point one of the Philly bike cops brought in for the overflow said, “I hope the Eagles never win a championship. The city will burn.”

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Lots of Nova Nation chants. That is one small but incredibly rich nation.

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Overheard at this moment: “Is that ‘Hat Guy’? It is! It’s ‘Hat Guy‘!”

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Bicycle cop to me: “If they had any clue it would be this many people, the street would have been lined with bikes.”

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The 1985 team got some love.

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So did the 2009 team.

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And the band. “V for Victory! V for Villanova.” Make up your mind, guys.

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Finally, the team arrives! The street was pretty chaotic at this point, with fans running out in front of the bus to take selfies. (One genius took a selfie with the media bus. I did not get a photo of that.)

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Sure they don’t get paid, but this experience is priceless. (Also: pay them, NCAA. Pay them.)

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More from the team bus.

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Hey look what’s next…it’s future Phoenix Suns head coach Jay Wright!

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Number one.

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As the team got to the rally at City Hall, the cops flat gave up on the corner of 15th and Market, letting fans go wherever they wanted to go. This is what it looked like when the rally began. Quite a day.

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