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.
[Photo from Grantland, courtesy of Jessica Pearce]