Sports are unpredictable. It is impossible to write a script for a sporting event. Every week, new underdog stories develop and heroes arise from nothing.
You can't infer sports.
But Gary Grinberg knows how to hypothesize about them.
Also known as Gary the Numbers Guy, Grinberg is a numerologist who spends a chunk of his time studying numerology and astrology to explain why certain outcomes occur and why certain results will happen. Last February, in an interview with ThePostGame, Grinberg predicted a Heat-Thunder final, a Dwight Howard injury and the decline of Tebowmania in 2012.
Those were among his correct predictions.
One year later, Grinberg's head is buzzing with more numerological explanations. As the Chinese zodiac calendar shifted to a new year, Grinberg took time to tell ThePostGame what happened in the Year of the Dragon and what he expects to happen in the Year of the Snake.
"The two teams were both the past two teams that won the Super Bowl in the Year of the Dragon," Grinberg says.
Each Chinese zodiac symbol rotates every 12 years. In January 1989, 24 years before Super Bowl XLVII, Joe Montana and the 49ers won Super Bowl XXIII. A dozen years after that, in January 2001, the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV. Both years were Dragon Years.
Another connection between the Super Bowl champion Ravens and the Year of the Dragon is its history with the Year of the Rat. "Rats do great in Dragon years" Grinberg says. "They have one of the strongest bonds and the strongest energies between them."
Ravens owner Steve Biscotti was born in 1960 and the franchise was founded in 1996, both Rat Years. Joe Flacco, the Super Bowl XLVII MVP, is also a Rat (born in January 1985). Trent Dilfer, the Ravens quarterback on the Super Bowl XXXV team, is also a Rat (born in 1972).
Grinberg notes this is not the only championship example of the Dragon-Rat connection. Shaquille O'Neal, a Rat born in 1972, won his first title in 2000, the Year of the Dragon. As for the mirror image, Kevin Garnett, a Dragon born in 1976, won his first title in 2008, the Year of the Rat. Jim Brown, a legend in Grinberg's native Cleveland, is a Rat born in 1936. He won his first title in 1964, a Dragon Year.
Oh, and LeBron James, a Rat born in 1984 -- he won his first tile in 2012, a Dragon Year.
In a numerological sense, Flacco had the necessary energy to pursue a title in the Year of the Dragon. He lifted the Lombardi Trophy with week to spare.
Sticking with football, Grinberg, 35, has his early Super Bowl XLVIII favorite: The New England Patriots.
"Tom Brady was born in the Year of the Snake and the last time it was the Year of the Snake, 2001, Tom Brady won his first title," Grinberg says. "Funny how that works."
Another positive energy relationship Grinberg predicts will be in full force next season is the Brady-Bill Belichick bond. Like Dragons and Rats, Snakes and Ox are two zodiac animals that exhibit good chemistry, although to a lesser degree than the former relationship. Belichick is an ox born in 1952.
While The Numbers Guy is confident with the Patriots for the 2013 season, he was adamant in predicting that New England would not this past season. Here is a tweet Grinberg posted in December:
— Gary the numbers guy (@Numerologynow) December 11, 2012
The Patriots missing the Super Bowl was not Grinberg's only correct of the 2012 NFL season. Way back in late August, Grinberg advised the NFL to watch out for Russell Wilson, a Dragon born in 1988:
— Gary the numbers guy (@Numerologynow) August 27, 2012
Wilson made the Pro Bowl, won the NFL Rookie of the Year and navigated the Seahawks to 11 wins and a playoff appearance.
Grinberg also refused to fall for rumors that Adrian Peterson's ACL injury had lowered the running back's ceiling. On the first Sunday of the season, he praised Peterson as the best running back in the NFL:
— Gary the numbers guy (@Numerologynow) September 9, 2012
Although the Patriots are Grinberg's favorite for next season, he sees another AFC team tailing New England's bumper. Grinberg is ready to call the Colts a title contender again as Andrew Luck, a Snake born in 1989, will be entering his second season.
"If the Indianapolis Colts put the right pieces around this guy, they could be a favorite to win the Super Bowl," Grinberg says. "Just like Brady won his first title in a Snake Year, Luck could really surprise people. I'm not saying he's going to win the Super Bowl, but I expect his numbers to go way up next year."
Brady was in his second year as a pro and first Snake Year when he won his first title 12 years ago. For Grinberg, it is not just about the numerology and astrology on paper that connects these quarterbacks. He sees similarities on the field.
"They're quarterbacks with high IQ levels because they are born in the Year of the Snake. Snakes are very smart," he says. "When it comes to the quarterback position, if you have a Snake at quarterback, you really have a lot of good things going for you. Think about Brady. He knows how to use his receivers and their abilities. He adapts his game to the cast around him. He doesn't expect his cast to adapt to him."
Two other players that should have strong seasons in 2013 are Reggie Bush and Von Miller. Bush is an Ox born in 1985. Miller is a Snake born in 1989.
"To me, he will replace Ray Lewis as the best linebacker in the game," Grinberg says of Miller. "He's born in the Year of the Snake, but he's also an 11 life path, so you have someone's who's really smart and athletic."
Last February, Grinberg explained the best athletes in the world tend to have one or 11 "life paths."
Grinberg advises fantasy football owners be wary of two superstars in 2013. Aaron Rodgers and Frank Gore, despite having seven Pro Bowl appearances between them, are primed for a down year. Both are born in 1983, the Year of the Pig. The Snake and the Pig are opposite zodiac signs.
"Pigs do very, very poorly in Snake years. I'd say about 90 percent of Pigs will not do well in Snake Years," he says. "Rodgers -- his best days are behind him. I would not be surprised if the Packers don't even make
the playoffs next year. Aaron Rodgers is going to have an off year. Gore -- if San Francisco's smart, they'll cut or trade him. He's done."
After the Rodgers and Gore comments, Grinberg was asked to confirm what he was saying. He chuckled.
"I know exactly what I'm saying."
During the summer, when the Lakers brought in Dwight Howard and Steve Nash to go along with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace, NBA fans were left in shock. Los Angeles GM Mitch Kupchak maneuvered to form a force of superstars and a title looked in sight.
The road to the NBA Finals has been anything but easy this season. The Lakers are currently on the outside of the playoff standings looking in.
"When you look at the Lakers, the first thing you have to look for is Dwight Howard is born in 1985 and Metta World Peace is born in 1979," Grinberg says. "That's the Goat (Sheep) and the that's the Ox. They're enemy signs. They will not play well together."
While Howard and World Peace do not mesh according to numerology and astrology, the relationship between Nash and Gasol is not any better. Nash, a Tiger born in 1974, and Gasol, a Monkey born in 1980, are also linked to enemy signs.
"When you have so many enemy signs in your starting lineup, I don't care how much talent you have, they're not going to win," Grinberg says.
The Numbers Guy's Solution: Ship Howard to Brooklyn.
"If I saw Dwight Howard traded to the Nets, I really think they would contend for the Eastern Conference title," Grinberg says. "He has great chemistry with people. Deron Williams is born in the Year of Rat and Howard's an Ox. I know they're great friends off the court. That's because they have great chemistry. Joe Johnson's born in 1981, the Year of the Rooster. That's another great chemistry relationship."
— Gary the numbers guy (@Numerologynow) October 31, 2012
Going the other way, Grinberg advises the Lakers go after Brook Lopez. The All-Star is a Dragon and Bryant is a Horse. Dragons and horses "work OK" with each other.
"It's a trade that would benefit both teams," he says.
Did he just open that can of worms again?
Last February, Grinberg correctly predicted a Heat-Thunder final. This year, he is again going with the Miami Heat to represent the Eastern Conference. In the Year of the Snake, The Numbers Guy feels the team will have enough positive energy to get back to the Finals. But he is already calling off the dogs for a run in 2014.
"They better get it done this year because they have zero chance to win it in 2014," he says. "I repeat zero percent."
In the Western Conference, Grinberg is riding the Lob City train -- under one condition.
"If Blake Griffin stays healthy and that's a big if because he's born on the 16th, they should be my favorites out west," Grinberg says.
In Grinberg's interview last February, he explained athletes with birthdays that fall on the 7th, 16th or 25th of the month tend to have injury problems. Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill and Brandon Roy are among those who fall under the category.
Grinberg's excitement about the Clippers is linked to the birthday of their star point guard, Chris Paul.
"Paul was born in 1985, the Year of the Ox," Grinberg says. "After his birthday [in May], we'll really know if they can do something. Griffin is an Ox born in 1989, so they have an Ox-Snake bond. That's good chemistry, great astrology."
If Griffin gets hurt, Grinberg says he may change his confidence vote to the San Antonio Spurs.
According to Grinberg, numerology and astrology can overpower brute strength. The prime example of this theory is the 2004 NBA Finals between the Lakers and the Pistons.
"The Pistons didn't have enough talent for an NBA championship team, but they had great chemistry," he says. "Rip Hamilton was born in 1978, [Chauncey] Billups in 1976 and Ben Wallace in 1974. That's Tiger, Boar and Dragon. That's a decent relationship. That's how they beat the Lakers."
Kevin Martin was consistently filling his role as the Thunder's sixth man until the zodiac calendar changed on Feb. 10. That night, Martin missed Oklahoma City's game with the flu. He scored six and nine points, respectively, the next two games.
When Grinberg talked to ThePostGame during the All-Star break, he analyzed this point.
"As soon as the Snake energy hit, this guy started playing like crap," he says. "The day the Thunder traded [James] Harden, who was born in the Year of the Snake, they basically said they weren't going back to the NBA Finals this year. They're going to start playing like crap. I would have given up Westbrook before him. Westbrook's a Dragon."
Likewise, Grinberg says to keep an eye on the Nuggets' Andre Iguodala (at right). In the first five games after the Year of the Snake began, Iguodala missed two games and scored eight or less points in three games.
As for players on the rise, Grinberg predicts the Nets' Joe Johnson and the Kings' Tyreke Evans will surpass their expected potential in the coming year. Johnson is a Rooster born in 1981. Like Oxen, Roosters are friends of the Snake. Evans is a Snake born in 1989.
Although he said Aaron Rodgers is on the decline, Grinberg can satisfy the cheeseheads of Wisconsin with some basketball talk. His Cinderella in this year's NBA playoffs is the Milwaukee Bucks.
"I really like them to surprise a team in the playoffs," Grinberg says. "Monta Ellis is born in 1985. He has great chemistry with Brandon Jennings, who's born in 1989. That's an ox and a snake. Drew Gooden is also born in 1981, so you see a lot of great chemistry. Am I saying they're going to win a championship? Of course not. What I'm basically saying is they're going to surprise a lot of people out there in the playoffs."
In the MLB East, the Blue Jays are on the rise, the Yankees are the defending division champions, the Orioles are coming off a wild-card berth and the Red Sox are under a new manager. Grinberg insists it is not time to sleep on the Rays.
Evan Longoria and David Price, two superstars entering their prime, are lining up for career years.
"Both are born in 1985. That's the year of the Ox and Oxen do well in Snake Years," Grinberg says. "I think they can do some good things this year."
Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Gonzalez are other '85 birthdays who Grinberg believes will be on the rise in 2013. Josh Hamilton, a Rooster born in 1981, is also set for a rise in his already All-Star level statistics.
As for another list of MLB players, 2013 will be a year to forget. Twins fans have not had much to cheer about in the past couple years. This coming season will not fare much better. A shadow is casting over Minnesota's favorite son.
"For Joe Mauer, it's not going to look good," Grinberg says. "He's born in 1983, the Year of the Pig, which is the opposite of the Snake. He will do very poorly."
Sticking in the AL Central, the Tigers are the anti-Rays. Grinberg expects their two stars, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, to be the talk of Detroit for the wrong reasons. Although both may be the most recent AL MVPs, both are also Pigs born in 1983.
"People aren't going to know what happened," Grinberg says. "I'm telling you, the Tigers have a long, long season ahead of them. Whatever their over-under win total is in Vegas, take the under."
Other baseball players born in the Year of the Pig include Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Joey Votto, Zach Greinke and Ryan Braun. Grinberg is under the assumption many of these players are in store for a decline in statistics.
For the Cleveland native, the Curse of Rocky Colavito has been haunting Grinberg his whole life. In 2013, the Indians will do anything but take a step toward their first World Series championship since 1948. Instead, they may be poised for one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
"Almost every new player was born in 1983," Grinberg says. "Mark Reynolds, Ubaldo Jimenez who they got last year. Even the new manager, Terry Francona, was born in 1959, the Year of the Pig. They've got a team full of Pigs. It's going to be a disaster. You can't win like that in 2013."
According to Grinberg, the following pairs are enemies on the zodiac calendar. He hopes general managers will start to realize signing players of these opposite signs is a death wish for their respective teams:
Grinberg thinks he may be on to something.
Rome was born on Oct. 14, 1964. Smith was born on Oct. 14, 1967. Both are among the biggest-mouthed sports personalities in the country. Coincidence? Irony? Grinberg says numerology/astrology.
The Numbers Guy also believes Smith can prove numerology and astrology can overlap in occupations. After watching a recent interview Smith did with Dwight Howard, Grinberg was convinced numerology and astrology caused an uncomfortable atmosphere.
"You could see they don't like each other," Grinberg says. "Smith was born in the Year of the Sheep. Howard was born in the Year of the Ox. That's enemy signs."
So the zodiac calendar has flipped again and Gary the Numbers Guy has made his predictions. How accurate will he be?
"Am I going to say 100 percent of this stuff is going to be right? No, but I'm shooting for 80-90," he says. "Better than a scout."
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.
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