I can't decide which "Jersey Comeback" is more wildly improbable — Trenton's, which is another $50 million off revenue for the current year after a poor showing in May, or that of the Devils, who are down 3-0 after a poor showing against the Los Angeles Kings.
Both sides have tough, but lovable characters. On the one side, you have Chris Christie and Steve Sweeney, who need no introduction — a couple of legislative titans who have worked together to get an income tax cut on the books, but haven't quite been able to close the deal. On the ice, everyone needs introductions — because bandwagon fans haven't yet learned how to pronounce "Marek Zidlicky" — but key to the mix are Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, who have worked together to push the Devils into the finals, but haven't been able to close the deal in Los Angeles, where the hockey team is the second-best-known Kings, behind the notorious gang.
(As a side note, I wanted to include a link identifying the LA Latin Kings up there, but all the ones I clicked are extremely NSFW. So, a heads up there, IT department.)
The roads to salvation are equally daunting, too. For Christie, it started with a wildly hopeful budget forecast that called for more sunshine than Memorial Day weekend. Subsequent months, though painted an increasingly dismal picture (like, "Guernica" dismal) for the state, which well off estimates for the current fiscal year that offered more modest projections. Christie put his conservative credentials on the line to tout his tax cut, and has been telling Washington to look to Jersey as an example. At this point, Washington has enough problems, and probably shouldn't be asking the kids in the back row how to solve its many crises.
For the Devils, meanwhile: They have to become the first team since 1942 — and only the second team ever — to win the Stanley Cup after digging themselves a 0-3 hole in the finals series. They have to do it against a Kings team that has lost only twice this playoffs, all against the three best teams out West; that has twice won overtime games in this series; that has outscored New Jersey 8-2 in three games; has outshot, outhit and outworked the Devils; and that has a goaltender who can stop pucks with his mind.
Somehow, I still think the odds of a Stanley Cup parade on Broad Street are better than my income tax being cut.
I'm even more irreverent on Twitter @joe_arney.