Philly’s 20 Biggest Losers of 2013

From Brooklyn Flea to the Roxy Theater, from Ruben Amaro to the Sixers, from Terrence Howard to the people who predict the weather, 2013 was a banner year for Philly ignominy.

Each year, I ask my colleagues, friends (yes, I actually have some!), and in-the-know Philadelphians for nominations for my Biggest Losers list, showcasing the region’s chumps in one handy place. Below, the inductees for the 2013 list, in no particular order.

Long-Range Winter Forecasts

Pretty sure not one of them predicted multiple December snowfalls followed by a 70-degree Christmas Eve Eve Eve. Our local meteorologists are entertaining at times, but imagine if you had such a bad record at your job.

Alternative Electricity Suppliers
If it looks like Amway, smells like Amway… I’ll stick with PECO, thanks.

Terrence Howard

I’ve honestly lost track of how many times Lafayette Hill’s most famous resident has been accused of assaulting or otherwise mistreating women.

Like his ex-wife, for instance:

The Sixers
Last place. Again. Even the dancers seem a little less exciting this year.

Sarah Lockard
The email heard around the world, or at least on Gawker, Huffington Post, Romenesko, and Eater National, among other places. I wonder where she wound up having Christmas Eve dinner. Looks like she’ll be dining at Valley Forge Casino on New Years Eve. Who’s in?


No, not the Christian Street bar. The illegal cab service that masqueraded as a ride-sharing service until the Philadelphia Parking Authority shut them down. I rode SideCar several times and wasn’t the least bit sad to see them go. Your underemployed Uncle Ted doesn’t need to be driving people around in his Buick at two in the morning.

The Brooklyn Flea
We were pretty excited about the Brooklyn Flea coming to Philadelphia. Until it actually came.

Matt Swartz and The Farmers’ Cabinet
Hate to say I told you so, but

The Water Mains
Don’t worry. I’m sure somebody at the Philadelphia Water Department is on top of this. Right? Wait. Why does this feel like deja vu?

Inquirer, Daily News and Owners

Can it get any worse? Yes, yes it can.

The Roxy Theater
Two Septembers ago, we learned that the Philadelphia Film Society (the organization behind the Philadelphia Film Festival) was taking over the decaying Roxy Theater on Sansom Street. The people behind it said it could be open as early as January 2013 and that it would showcase films “even more independent than the Ritz… stuff that struggles to find a screen in Philadelphia.”

Then came a Kickstarter campaign in March 2013 to raise $40,000 so that the Roxy could “open in Spring 2013.” Then came assurances that the Roxy would open in April 2013. Then came summer. And fall. Finally, the Roxy opened just before Christmas. And what obscure, ultra-independent film is the Roxy showing? What film-student fodder is filling the screen? Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks.

All that aside, the Roxy would still deserve inclusion on this list based on the exit-sign placement alone:

Center City has a movie theater again. Unfortunately, it’s the Roxy.

Blondell Reynolds-Brown
Don’t worry, Councilwoman, we didn’t forget about those 165 “material omissions,” six “material misstatements,” your illegal loan, or the coverup that followed. But, hey, you’re in good company, historically speaking.

Richard Basciano
Philadelphia Building Collapse

The former “undisputed king of Times Square porn” owned the building that collapsed onto the Salvation Army at 22nd and Market streets and hasn’t had a word to say about the six people who died that day. I’d say, “For shame.” But Basciano seems pretty shame-proof.

Don Tollefson
You don’t mess with people’s Super Bowl tickets.

Tom Corbett
January 20, 2015, can’t come soon enough.

Lori Stilley

AKA that cancer-faking piece of shit from New Jersey.

The Uncivilized Masses
From LOVE Park and Franklin Mills Mall to West Chester and the University of Delaware (and, of course, at the Linc and on SEPTA), people proved, once again, to be unruly and unredeemable.

Traffic Court
Only in Philadelphia.

Ruben Amaro
Zero confidence.

Jay McCarroll

The bastard love child of C.A. Conrad is still trying to be famous nearly a decade after he won the first season of Project Runway. It’s not working.

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