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These were the most-read stories on in 2023

Media These were the most-read stories on in 2023 News, sports, celebs, and “unserious questions” all drew attention from readers this year. And why can’t we quit Tom Brady? Among this year’s top stories on the Brian Walshe murder case; the origin of jimmies; the Jrue Holiday trade; protests over Israel and Hamas; and Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell’s visit to Logan. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff; Jonathan Wiggs /Globe Staff; Maddie Meyer/Getty Images; JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
One thing you can say about readers: They have diverse tastes. Among the list of most-read stories on the site from 2023, you’ll find breaking news, in-depth features, sports, travel, celebrity news, and even a national story or two. Plus at least one article about rotisserie chickens. Check out the top 20 below:
1. “At this Mass. house, trick-or-treaters could choose between a full-size candy bar or Market Basket rotisserie chicken.” Yes, there was actual news that happened this year. But what readers were really looking for was a feel-good Halloween story that also happened to involve Market Basket, and (checks notes) rotisserie chickens. And this Nov. 2 story by Heather Alterisio fit the bill on all counts.
2. “Live updates: Tracking the Ana Walshe case.” One of several high-profile crime stories we covered this year — Lindsay Clancy and Karen Read would be two of the others — our ongoing updates on the murder case against Brian Walshe (he of the unfortunate Google searches), along with a summary of initial reports and a timeline of the case, garnered the most attention from readers in 2023.
3. “Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard respond to backlash over Logan Airport Instagram posts.” Celebrities, they’re just like us: They spend $600 on makeshift beds after getting stuck at Logan Airport before getting kicked out by airport staff, and then post on Instagram about it. At least that’s what happened to Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard — and then they had to respond to all the people complaining about the posts.
4. “Here’s what AccuWeather says New England can expect for winter 2023-2024.” Clearly concerned that global warming may have eliminated snow altogether, readers flocked to October’s annual forecast from AccuWeather (who, for what it’s worth, predicted possible “hefty snowfall amounts” in January and February). Also popular: Reports on predictions from the Farmers’ Almanac and the other Farmer’s Almanac.
5. “ readers share why they aren’t going to Cape Cod this year.” Readers were more than willing to share — and other readers were more than willing to read — their reasons for eschewing Cape vacations these days. (Many of which could be summed up by the Yogi Berra quote, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”)
6. “A Mass. campground is adding luxury cabins, a water park in 2023.” Being the world travelers that they are, readers always seem to be on the lookout for new additions to their favorite travel destinations — and this story by Kristi Palma about a popular local campground particularly struck a nerve among the camping contingent. (If you want to find out which campground it was, click the link!)
7. “Tom Brady has a message for Deion Sanders’s son after Colorado’s upset win over TCU.” Tom Brady — why can’t we quit him? He hasn’t played for the Patriots since 2019, but readers can’t get enough of the GOAT. (And in their defense, we keep writing about him.) This story by Khari Thompson, about Brady’s praise for pro football and baseball wunderkind turned college coach Deion Sanders and his progeny, was the most-read sports story this year.
8. “Live updates: Massachusetts reacts to Israel-Hamas war.” It’s a global conflict, but with far-reaching effects that stretch all the way into Massachusetts — as evidenced by the protests, marches, outcries, and other developments covered by our ongoing local look into the repercussions of the Israel-Hamas war.
9 “Why do some New Englanders call sprinkles ‘jimmies’?” For our ongoing “Wickedpedia” feature — “Your unserious questions, seriously answered” — we answered a lot of unserious questions in 2023, but the one that drew the most attention involved those little bits of candy sprinkled atop ice cream in New England and thereabouts. (One finding from Abby Patkin’s story: The term is not racist, thankfully.)
10. “Mac Jones reportedly asked for outside help and an angry Bill Belichick addressed him.” Khari Thompson’s trouble-in-paradise tale involving now-erstwhile Pats quarterback Mac Jones and his grumpy coach came out all the way back in January, which probably should have given us a clue that things might not go swimmingly for the team this year.
11. “Boston Public Library shares list of its 10 most borrowed books in 2022.” It warms our hearts to think that something as quaint as a list of borrowed books would be so popular as to make our list of most-read stories, but sure enough it did. (And the top book even had “library” in the title. That’s not suspicious at all.) The BPL released its 2023 list early this year, so you can see that one here.
12. “Tom Brady unretiring again? NFL commentator suggests TB12 could join a Patriots AFC East foe.” Remember what we said about Tom Brady back in No. 7? Well, here we go again. (Also, in case you were wondering: He did not unretire again.)
13. “Report: Jayson Tatum held players-only meeting to address Jrue Holiday trade.” See,’s sports-fan readers don’t just care about what Tom Brady had for breakfast. This behind-the-scenes Celtics story from November by Luke Scotchie, about the team grappling with a surplus of potential starters, was a big hit as well.
14. “10 pressing questions facing the Patriots entering the 2023 season.” Regardless of what the questions were in this pre-season story by Conor Ryan from September, we’re pretty sure the answers were “no.”
15. “Over 100 Connecticut state troopers accused of faking traffic stops.” This September story out of neighboring Connecticut, via The New York Times News Service, apparently struck a chord with readers who were relieved to see that we’re not the only state with some sketchy state troopers.
16. “Rob Gronkowski’s missed field goal in live Super Bowl commercial left many confused.” Did the kick go in? Did it miss? Do we get any money in free FanDuel bets? Is Rob Gronkowski still retired? So many questions.
17. “Proud Boys’ Enrique Tarrio gets record 22 years in prison for Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy.” There were a bunch of local arrests and prosecutions stemming from the Jan. 6, 2020 Capitol riots — including a couple from Worcester, a former Boston cop, and an Ashland doctor — but it was this national story about the massive prison sentence for a prominent Proud Boy that got the most attention from readers in 2023.
18. “A South Shore man forgot a $3M lottery ticket, and the clerk claimed the prize. Now she and a coworker are facing charges.” You can read this June story by Abby Patkin for the details — they’re fairly complicated, involving a burned ticket, an alleged extortion attempt, a ride to Dorchester, and a bag of chips, not necessarily in that order.
19. “Where does the Boston accent come from?” This Wickedpedia story by Ross Cristantiello from March includes everything you ever (“evah”) wanted to know about the Boston accent but were afraid to ask. Other Wickedpedia topics that made an impression in 2023: “Why is there no Terminal D at Logan Airport?”; “What’s the deal with those Pleasure Island Road signs on Route 128 in Wakefield?”; and “What’s the shortest distance between two Dunkin’s in Mass.?”
20. “White supremacist signs posted in Oak Bluffs under investigation.” Sadly, as evidenced by Katelyn Umholtz’s report on signs apparently placed by “one of the most active hate groups in the region,” even the Vineyard isn’t immune from racists.



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