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Steven Spielberg: Sports Writer

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood February 24, 2012 at 2:58PM

Who knew? The master director of "Indiana Jones," "E.T.," "Jaws," Steven Spielberg, once wrote a high school's sports column.
Steven Spielberg

Who knew? The master director of "Indiana Jones," "E.T.," "Jaws," Steven Spielberg, once wrote a high school sports column.

Grantland's Bryan Curtis sifted through the archives for a studied and amusing analysis of Spielberg's early journalistic efforts.  "Why sportswriting? To judge from Spielberg's references to 'basket accuracy' and 'professionally executed' touchdowns, he didn't know much about sports," Curtis writes, "No, the first reason he was drawn to the sports page is what we might call sports-as-movie."

At 17, he had already directed the sci-fi flick "Firelight," and served an internship at Universal Pictures. When his family moved from California to Phoenix, however, he tried a brief stint in high school sportswriting.

His directorial, movie-slanted eye gleamed through. The young Spielberg filmed the games he covered rather than taking notes. He also made poetic references to "clouds of disgust" on the coach's brow and insinuations of "Twilight Zone"-type soul snatching to explain the failure of his school's baseball team.

For more clips of Spielberg's early sports columns read the full story at Grantland. Via Byliner.

[Photo from Grantland, courtesy of Jessica Pearce]

This article is related to: Steven Spielberg

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.