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Was He Taking Leave of Absence, or His Senses?

I was on an airplane last week when the pilot left the cockpit and took the seat next to me.

He said he was taking a leave of absence. He didn’t apologize.

He said he had to get away, kind of clear his head and make sure that flying planes was the right thing for him to do. Because he didn’t know if he really wanted to fly planes.

Thanks to the co-pilot, we arrived safely at our destination. But then I was mugged, although there was a policeman nearby.

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I asked the policeman why he didn’t intervene. He said he had just decided to take a leave of absence. He didn’t apologize.

He said he had to get away, kind of clear his head and make sure that catching criminals was the right thing for him to do. Because he really didn’t know if he wanted to catch criminals.

My trip was cut short when a relative had to undergo surgery. It wasn’t considered serious, until the doctor left in the middle of the operation.

He said he was taking a leave of absence. He didn’t apologize.

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He said he had to get away, kind of clear his head and make sure that healing sick people was the right thing for him to do. Because he really didn’t know if he wanted to heal sick people.

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Jody Berry, singer, entertainer and former professional heavyweight boxer, finally figured out the prediction Evander Holyfield made before he fought Lennox Lewis. . . . “Evander thought God told him he was going to win in the third round,” Berry said. “What God really told him is that he was going to win the third round.” . . . Many people I know who scored the fight said the third round was the only one Holyfield won without question. . . .

London newspapers have been particularly aggressive in investigating the judging in Holyfield-Lewis. . . .

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One of them, the Mirror, reported Tuesday that 43 calls were made from the Atlantic City home of Eugenia Williams, the judge who had Holyfield winning, to the home of Ivan Robinson before his second fight against Arturo Gatti last December. . . .

Robinson said he and Williams are friends. . . .

Williams was a judge at that fight. Robinson won a unanimous decision. . . .

Although there was no suspicion surrounding the decision, I’d want to know what those phone calls were about if I were Gatti. . . .

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Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown has given the Raiders permission to terminate their lease, as soon as it expires in 2011. . . .

“It’s like marriage,” he says. “For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, until the year 2011 do you part.” . . .

If Los Angeles ends up with an existing team instead of an expansion team, the Cardinals might be a better candidate than the Raiders. . . .

Arizona’s Senate is on the verge of killing the Cardinals’ stadium proposal even before it reaches the state’s voters May 18. . . .

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The Paralysis Project, a nonprofit organization led by Don Newcombe and Rogie Vachon that funds research into spinal cord injury, has scheduled its annual awards dinner Saturday at the Pasadena Ritz-Carlton Hotel. . . .

Among the honorees are Bobby Rahal, Harmon Killebrew, Fred Biletnikoff, Kent Desormeaux, George Yardley and Cammi Granato. . . .

Of all the tributes to Joe DiMaggio, perhaps the most unexpected comments came from Paul Simon several weeks before DiMaggio died. . . .

In an interview with Mark Kriegel of the New York Daily News, Simon, who wrote “Mrs. Robinson,” said he’d wanted to use Mickey Mantle in the lyrics. . . .

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“Mantle was my guy,” he said. . . .

But there weren’t enough beats in Mic-key Man-tle to make it work. So Simon tried Joe Di-Mag-gi-o. . . .

“Within an instant, I knew, I’ll keep that . . . ,” he said. “It all felt good. It made the song feel like it was about a larger subject. . . .

“I wasn’t looking for anything. Something was looking for me. It came from the ether, from the subconscious. It’s a line for fathers.”

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You might have noticed that the Page 2 column hasn’t been on Page 2 or any other page in the sports section lately.

I don’t apologize. I had an excused absence.

I had to get away, kind of clear my head and make sure this is the right thing for me to do. Because I didn’t know if I really wanted to write the column.

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But now I’m back. I’m back. People have to understand that you can’t control Randy Harvey. He has to make his decisions.

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While wondering when someone will try to blame the Holyfield-Lewis decision on Donny Shacks, I was thinking: Eugenia Williams had the UCLA women beating Louisiana Tech by three, the latest to apply to become boxing judges are the expelled IOC members, next you’ll tell me that pro wrestling is fixed.

Randy Harvey can be reached at his e-mail address: randy.harvey@latimes.com

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