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Originally published Friday, December 30, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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From Vijay to Manny, 2005 provided hysterical highlights

A look back at 2005, in 12 monthly snapshots: Singh-along time January: Vijay Singh and bagman Dave Renwick have parted ways, at least for...

The Seattle Times

A look back at 2005, in 12 monthly snapshots:

Singh-along time

January: Vijay Singh and bagman Dave Renwick have parted ways, at least for a while, because the hard-driving Singh didn't treat him with respect and never had a kind word to say to him, the Scotsman newspaper reported.

In a related story, pundits predict this year's No. 1 gallery catcall will be: "Who's your caddy?"

Bus-ted

February: Nine athletes in football and other sports at Colleyville (Texas) Heritage High School have admitted they used illegal steroids, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Suspicions were reportedly aroused when the team bus ran out of gas and the players carried it to the nearest filling station.

At 62, he's no rook

March: Former U.S. chess champion Bobby Fischer, calling himself a political pawn after being held in detention since his immigration arrest in July 2004, finally left Tokyo for exile in Iceland with bride-to-be Miyoko Watai, head of Japan's chess association.

A Japanese fiancée? Guess Bobby couldn't find a Czech mate.

Pass the Excedrin

April: Serena Williams told ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" that she's starting an awareness crusade to combat migraines.

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We'll know she's serious about reducing headaches when she stops designing her own tennis outfits.

Finished line

May: One more seventh-place finish like George Steinbrenner's steed had in the

Kentucky Derby, you have to figure, and Bellamy Road just might become the glue that holds the Yankees' clubhouse together.

Grunt and groan

June: Defending champion Maria Sharapova needed only one match at this year's Wimbledon Championships to surpass her personal grunting record, the Sun of London reported, crediting her with a 101.2-decibel grunt.

In fact, say those in the know, Sharapova is probably just a few voice lessons away from becoming the first player in tennis history who can grunt her own weight.

Not waving goodbye

July: Karl Stein became the oldest participant in the Chicago Yacht Club's Race to Mackinac Island, Mich., when he took part in the 107th annual race for the 30th time at age 96.

But forget the sailing — his competitors just like having him around to hear all the old Christopher Columbus stories.

Happy feet

August: USC quarterback Matt Leinart already has enough credits to graduate, so he is signed up to take just one course this fall — ballroom dancing.

And if it improves the QB's footwork, sources say, SC instructors are bracing for a late rush of 300-pounders into Line-Dancing 101.

The cleanup spot

September: Fans at Atlanta Braves games scored the worst in the American Society of Microbiology's latest spy tally of 6,300 restroom users at various public facilities, The Associated Press reported. In fact, the survey says, 37 percent of the men and 16 percent of the women who left Turner Field's restrooms did so without washing their hands.

But of those who did wash, we hear, 83 percent dried their hands by doing the Tomahawk Chop.

Goofballs

October: In a Sports Illustrated survey of 450 big-leaguers, Oakland pitcher Barry Zito was the runaway choice for the best curveball.

To the relief of then-Dodger Milton Bradley, the survey chose not to uncover baseball's No. 1 screwball.

Delay of game

November: An autographed football sent by the B.C. Lions still hadn't reached Canadian troops in Afghanistan even though it was mailed in August, The Province of Vancouver reported.

Alert statisticians immediately declared it the longest incomplete pass in CFL history.

Fly on the wall

December: Manny Ramirez, the free-spirited left fielder who says he wants out of Boston, is putting his Ritz-Carlton penthouse on the market for $6.9 million, the Boston Herald reported.

Unconfirmed reports leave no doubt it's Manny's place: There's not much in the attic, and the oven mitts look barely used.

Manny's moving on, and so are we. Bring on 2006.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or dperry@seattletimes.com

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