Bakersfield's Frank Gifford, right, newly retired from an NFL Hall of Fame career with the New York Giants, interviews Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees. Gifford left Bakersfield before the Jockey Club's founding in 1963 but he was a friend to the organization throughout his career as a broadcaster in New York and later, most famously, with ABC's "Monday Night Football."

Some things have taken a little more time to start feeling the same, post-pandemic, than we might have liked. One of them is sports — national and local, professional and amateur.

Thankfully, games are no longer played in echoey, starkly empty arenas, and Friday night high school football is back at full force — although these days some games are on Thursdays and the outrageous temperatures of this prolonged, climate-change-fueled summer have pushed back some kickoff times.

Robert Price is an Emmy-winning reporter-commentator for KGET-TV. His column appears here Sundays; the views expressed are his own. Reach him at rprice661@gmail.com or via Twitter: @stubblebuzz.