Introducing the biggest losers and winners of 2023

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What a whiplash-inducing 365 days.

Sure, we had some predictability in 2023. King Charles III ascended to the throne and his youngest son continued to whine. There were sensational trials — with villains Sam Bankman-Fried and Alex Murdaugh, while Gwyneth Paltrow reinvented courtroom style. ChatGPT became part of our vocab, and the great Lionel Messi blessed our shores. Barbie turned 2023 pink.

Sadly, we lost icons Tina Turner, Bob Knight and Matthew Perry. And it ends on a darker note: two wars raging and a bizarre presidential election landscape.

Thank God for comic relief from the shameless former congressman George Santos.

Here’s a look at the winners and losers of this most chaotic calendar year.

Is there any more triumphant figure than Time’s Person of the Year, Taylor Swift? Fresh off world domination from her $1.1 billion Eras tour, which also had a theatrical release that grossed $250 million, she went on to become the NFL’s de-facto first lady when she started dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Swift, 34, grabbed more airtime than the players and brought in a new game-day audience. Even as some now brand her a “distraction,” there’s no denying the power of this pop star turned power WAG.

All eyes have been on Taylor Swift, here with Patrick Mahomes’ wife, Brittany Mahomes as they cheer on their beaus in Los Angeles. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con
Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito was a silver lining in a dismal Giants season and endeared himself to the nation by leading the team to a victory on Monday Night Football. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Even more enchanting was the fairy tale of Tommy DeVito, a third-string quarterback who, by the power of chicken cutlets and confidence, gave us DeVitomania. He may never throw another touchdown pass in a Giants uniform again, but it doesn’t matter. The underdog uprising buoyed a beaten-down fanbase and netted DeVito loads of marketing deals and a likely lucrative role as an NFL backup.

It’s also a winning year for the sports mom — including Alexandra DeVito who, in making her son’s bed, doing his laundry and cooking him cutlets (and starring in a Rao’s sauce ad), emerged as an endearing main character this season.

Michael Jordan’s mom, Deloris Jordan was the hero of “Air,” which portrayed her as the driving force behind her son’s historic Nike deal. Getty Images
Donna Kelce poses with her son Jason Kelce, who plays for the Eagles. Her other son, Travis, is dating Taylor Swift. Her sons’ success on and off the field have made Donna a star herself. Getty Images for Prime Video

Feel good movie “Air” portrayed the influential role Deloris Jordan played in her son Michael Jordan signing with Nike, a deal that changed basketball and culture forever. Meanwhile, Donna Kelce — whose two sons have three Super Bowl rings between them — saw her media star rise, becoming the NFL’s beloved matriarch.

Admittedly, I did not see box office juggernaut “Barbie” (my favorite movie of the year was Ray Romano’s beautiful “Somewhere in Queens“), but you didn’t need to see it to understand its vice grip on pop culture and fashion or the endless debates on feminism it spawned.

Margot Robbie promoted her “Barbie” film, which was a juggernaut in 2023. AFP via Getty Images
Pam Anderson attended The FAshion Awards 2023 at the Royal Albert Hall wearing no makeup. She’s had a triumphant year with her memoir and documentary. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Speaking of curvy blondes, Pam Anderson leaves 2023 as a triumphant figure, scars and all. Her memoir, “Love, Pamela,” and Netflix documentary introduced us to a gritty, smart and now au-naturale Pammy who, in telling her own story, let us know that she’s been miscast as a bimbo all along.

Women’s college hoops had a slam dunk in 2023. A record 9.9 million people watched the national title game, and two stars — Iowa sharp shooter Caitlin Clark and LSU’s Angel Reese — became national sensations with the NIL compensation to match.

LSU’s Angel Reese (left) and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark emerged as bona fide stars after the NCAA women’s title game. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Bravo is having its “reality reckoning” courtesy of Bethany Frankel, but “Vanderpump Rules” star Ariana Madix maneuvered getting cheated on into a reported $2 million payday.

But 2023 wasn’t all for the chicks. After media outlets including the Washington Post tried to ruin Barstool Sports’ honcho Dave Portnoy’s inaugural One Bite Pizza Festival, he turned the tables on them — exposing their bias by releasing an awkward phone call with one reporter. Plus, he bought back his company for $1.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy had big wins in 2023, including his pizza festival and buying back his company for $1. EMMY PARK

Bill Maher was a voice of reason, handing out Cojones awards to those who bucked cancel culture norms, while refusing to make his HBO show an echo chamber. The comedian features fascinating guests of the left, right and center, cementing “Real Time” into rare appointment TV.

Ladies did so well, though, that Bud Light tried to tap into men cosplaying as girls — aka the now disastrous Dylan Mulvaney partnership that led to the brand being dethroned as the nation’s top selling beer.

Bud Lite partnered with trans activist Dylan Mulvaney and backlash nearly sunk the brand. Dylan Mulvaney/Instagram
Former college swimmer Riley Gaines has become a vocal activist for keeping women’s sports fair. Getty Images

The failed trans experiment also helped expose the fact that radical gender ideology and activists are losing. People like Riley Gaines, Paula Scanlan and the Daily Wire parody “Lady Ballers” have fought for fairness in women’s sports. It’s working. Some sports governing bodies are finally enacting rules to keep women’s sports female.

Sadly, it took a horrific terrorist attack on Israel to expose elite colleges as DEI-obsessed illiberal bastions of antisemitism. Willing to crack down on microaggressions and misgendering — but not antisemitic behavior — has sunk them. It’s cost them money, potential students and reputation. No more beleaguered is Harvard president Claudine Gay, who is also facing mounting plagiarism accusations. Frankly, it’s an ad for trade school.

Harvard President Claudine Gay is under fire for failing to condemn antisemitism on campus and accusations that she’s a serial plagiarist. REUTERS

Also in the L column are American cities — including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Philadelphia and New York — which continue to decline with feckless, permissive leadership allowing crime and rampant homelessness. They’re becoming as filthy and lawless as they are unaffordable.

In a year where the celebrity memoir won as a genre, Jada Pinkett Smith’s “Worthy” just made us feel bad for Will Smith and hope for an end to his wife’s self-serving, for-profit revelations.

Jada Pinkett Smith continued to air family laundry in her memoir. Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s constant whining has dinged their reputation. Samir Hussein/WireImage

President Joe Biden, 81, can’t stop physically falling or verbally stumbling. His border policies are a disaster, and he was unable to muster a sentiment after Maui went up in flames. The avowed family man was finally forced by mounting backlash to acknowledge his otherwise seemingly forgotten 5-year-old granddaughter, sired by troubled son Hunter.

Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome have lived to feast another day from the trough of 45 hate, but it will end in tears. Four criminal cases have netted him political martyr status and may usher him back into the White House, when perhaps he would have faded away without their enthusiastic partisan interventions.

Protesters stopped traffic at the Manhattan Bridge on Thanksgiving holiday weekend — one of the many disruptive protests this year. Bill Farrington
A construction worker named Paulie confronted someone ripping down Missing posters showing hostages kidnapped by Hamas. michaelrapaport/TikTok

Then there’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who saw their multimillion-dollar woe-is-me shtick run dry, during what South Park dubbed their “World-Wide Privacy Tour.” Squandering overwhelming American goodwill with fabulist tales of car chases through Manhattan and incessant whining in Harry’s “Spare” memoir and on their Netflix series, they were dropped by Spotify and donations to their Archwell foundation have fallen by $11 million from last year. Here’s to a quiet 2024 from the House of Sussex.

This has been the year of ultra left-wing protesters. But an appetite for destruction has lost them the hearts and minds of anyone who might have been open to their cause. They’ve stood on subway tracks, interrupted play at the US Open, and blocked highways, bridges and airports across the country. And in NYC, they’ve assaulted cops and ripped down Missing posters showing hostages kidnapped by Hamas.

But one silver lining? The gritty New York attitude remains, as when a construction worker named Paulie confronted a guy ripping down those posters. With the magical words “This is f–king the US, this is New York City, You don’t have a right to touch that s–t,” he became a viral sensation and a symbol of hope: Sanity remains.



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