The first was that he'd do an absolutely outstanding job in every way – meet each deadline with lively, accurate and clean copy (he was incredible in filing on the fly after the tragic death of luger Nodar Kumaritashvili at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics), write original, clever and often biting columns and be there to help his colleagues in every way.
The other thing you could count on is that the end of every Olympics, he'd say it was definitely his last for the Star, that there was NO way he'd be back for the next one.
Well, he meant it when he said it after the Vancouver Games.
Perky, as his colleagues call him, wrapped up his career as a full-time columnist this week at the Star. Fortunately, he'll still be a contributor but it won't be the same and it's hard to imagine covering an Olympics without him on our team.
It's unheard of for a columnist after he's done his day's work – and it usually took Perky about 30 minutes to bang out a column most of us would die for -- to then ask reporters if he could run and get some quotes for them or if they needed a results sheet. But he regularly made that offer.
But it's his original style that will be missed most of all, the ability to lampoon the stuffed shirts or to come up with angle no one else thought of.
There was so many great ones but one that comes to mind is at the Atlanta Olympics when the local organizing committee was screwing everything up right out of the start gate and Perkins delivered this classic line in nailing them for their ineptitude: “Forrest Gump was a documentary.”
When Austrian ski great Hermann Maier went airborne and crashed through the safety barriers, Perkins calculated that he was in the air longer than the Wright Brothers' first flight.
Perkins was rare as a columnist in that he wrote about Olympic sports even where there wasn't a Games happening. In fact, he's led the way with his coverage of the behind-the-scenes machinations of the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games.
As Barb McDonald of Skate Canada noted in a tweet this week, “Dave's a true pro – and a real friend to Canadian sport!”
(This picture is of Perky at the Great Wall after the Beijing Games. He was like a kid going down that hue aluminum slide afterwards. The photo was taken by Jim Byers, the Star's peerless Olympics coordiator.)