Philly’s Biggest Losers of 2017

The eight people, groups, and institutions that really failed this year.

Clockwise from top left: Colleen Campbell (Philadelphia Police Department); Meek Mill (Pennsylvania Department of Corrections); Pete Rose (Wikimedia Commons); Lauren Boggi (Philly Mag file photo); PPA logo (Philadelphia Parking Authority); Wawa hoagie (Alex Tewfik).

Making a list of Philly’s biggest losers of 2017 was no easy task because, frankly, there were just so many damn losers in this town over the last 12 months. But this is not a list of murderers and people who do horrible things to children. That would be something like the 10 Most Evil Philadelphians of 2017 list. This list features the eight people, groups, and institutions that screwed up, flamed out, or just royally disappointed us in the most epic manner possible, in no particular order.

Colleen Campbell

“I work at a fucking news station, motherfucker.” Words heard literally around the world thanks to the viral video shot outside of Helium Comedy Club. Campbell is currently on probation and hoping to have her arrest expunged in 2018.

Seth Williams

Of all of the people I’ve received negative tips about over the last five years here at Philly Mag, more came in about Seth Williams than anyone else. My favorite was one of the first: the 2012 one about his “party planner,” who earned a sweet $75,000 each year, paid for by taxpayers.

So no one was less surprised than me when Williams was sentenced to five years in prison back in October. This is a man who stole from his own mother and then asked the judge to grant him special privileges to get out of jail to visit the woman.

From Philadelphia’s top law enforcement official to federal prison inmate 75926-066. Bravo, Seth. Brav-o.

City Council

From the anti-public drumming bill to the decision to force corner stores to remove their bulletproof glass to the move to forgive tens of millions of dollars in old parking tickets, this has been a pretty banner year for councilmanic incompetence.

Pete Rose

The former Phillies legend was already pretty bottom-of-the-barrel long before 2017 rolled around. But he one-upped himself this year. After a woman came forward alleging that Rose had had sex with her back in the 1970s, starting before she turned 16 and when Rose was in his 30s, Rose didn’t deny having sex with a minor. Instead, his response boiled down to: Nah, I’m pretty sure she was 16.


I don’t hate the PPA because they give out lots of parking tickets. That’s what they’re supposed to do, and they’re brutally efficient at it. But there’s plenty to hate about the PPA, as laid out in the alarming report recently released by Pennsylvania’s Auditor General, detailing allegations of gross mismanagement. But don’t worry: the disgraced PPA head who resigned last year amid sexual harassment accusations will get 15 years of free health coverage and one of the highest pensions in the entire city. Because that’s how we do things here in Philadelphia.

Lauren Boggi

One of the biggest business disaster stories of 2017.

Lauren Boggi in a Philly Mag file photo.

Of all the health and fitness and lifestyle brands in Philly, Boggi’s was arguably the most well known. But then it all imploded, with Boggi owing a lot of people a lot of money, and Boggi declared bankruptcy, meaning most of those people will never see a cent.

Don’t feel bad for Boggi, though. She’s still going on posh fitness retreats to Mexico. And based on her Instagram feed, she’s doing just fine out in Los Angeles, where she landed after leaving Philly — and all those creditors — behind.


“We do it just a little better at Wawa.” Remember the convenience store’s old jingle? That sentiment may have been true at one time, but it’s definitely not that way today.

Their hoagies are a mess, as is that ridiculous store at Broad and Walnut. And all of you people who wait in line for their nasty watery coffee on Wawa’s Free Coffee Day need to have your head examined.

Meek Mill

Though his supporters are holding him out as a hero, a poster child for mass incarceration, the abuse of judicial authority, and the unfairness of the probation system, the Philly rap star is actually just a rich celebrity using those real issues issues that affect real people to mask the truth: Meek Mill is a convicted criminal who has been given plenty of chances to do the right thing, and now he is getting exactly what he deserves.