Award-winning sportswriter joins strongest keynote lineup in history. Credit goes to the host’s daughter.
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He has been called brilliant, evil, gifted, paranoid, a “classless clown,” a “journalistic savant,” and a chipwich, whatever that is. And if you were to ask Jeff Pearlman himself, he would tell you that all of those labels are the product of being a good sports journalist.
He will bring all of that experience and character building to San Diego this fall as one of the Presentation Summit’s keynote speakers, Monday afternoon, Oct 10. He describes his talk this way:
“There’s this idea in journalism that somewhere out there awaits a star begging for a profile. The truth is, everyone is a character. The keys to journalism is a willingness to see the uniqueness in people, and to find their stories. Where to look. How to probe. How to make people feel comfortable enough to open up.”
When the conference invited him to speak, it was before Showtime, his 2014 book on the Los Angeles Lakers, was turned into the blockbuster HBO series Winning Time, which was just signed to a second season. “Good thing,” jokes conference host Rick Altman, “because afterward, I wouldn’t have been able to reach even his agent.”
But Altman had an ace in the hole in snaring this sportswriter-turned-celebrity: he was an adjunct professor at Chapman University, where Rick’s daughter Jamie was climbing the ranks at the school newspaper. When ascending to editor-in-chief, she asked Pearlman to act as faculty advisor, a request that he remembers well: “She came to me as this optimistic, open-minded, energetic, talented ball of great goop.”
The conference will serve as a reunion for these two, as Jamie will join Jeff that afternoon to conduct a Q&A. “Having Jeff on board as our advisor was a breath of fresh air,” Jamie recalls, “and he allowed my staff to focus on the stuff that we all loved, which was storytelling. I’ll take any opportunity to work with Jeff again.”
Jeff was more succinct about this pending reunion: “It’s insanely cool to be able to meet back up and shoot the sh*t.”
For her part, Jamie looks forward to seeing the Summit from a different perspective. “I’ve always been surrounded by stories, not just as “Rick’s daughter” when the conference rolls around each year, but throughout my career journey. Telling a story the wrong way can have damaging effects, as we’ve seen with fake news and misinformation. But telling it the right way, that’s when the magic happens. I’ve watched this happen at the conference from the sidelines growing up, but I’m excited to finally be a part of it.”
Advisor and advisee will take center stage together Monday afternoon, Oct 10.