Confessions of a De-Fluffer

I’m on the train to the Wellington Sevens, which is a 2-day carnival of dress-ups punctuated by watching a little bit of rugby (in its shortened form).
I’m not participating in the festive atmosphere but will be standing in the middle it, as I have done for the last 7 years, watching the 30,000 grown-ups act in way quite foreign to New Zealand at any other time.
This blog will be an attempt to say something about this event which none of the plethora of other blogs observe or say.
This may be my greatest writing challenge as all sports events tend to generate maximum cliche.
So, here we go, the train is pulling into Wellington. Let the sun & silliness begin!


2 hours until the first of the 24 games kicks off and it’s pretty quiet in the stadium. All of my equipment is checked and ready to go. Of course, if there are going to be problems, they will pop up close to kick-off when all electrical and RF equipment is running. It’s happened before and since rogue RF is hard to track down (it will usually come from an unaccredited TV crew sneaking in & switching on a mic, or a dodgy taxi parked outside) it results in a big panic as the 30 or so match officials listening to our system rush up to tell me the comms aren’t working.
You have to be an adrenaline junkie to thrive in such situations where hours of boredom are punctuated by minutes of sheer terror (to use a war analogy).
In such situations I go very calm, in fact, calmer than I am in any other social situation. It’s a skill that’s helped me in various guises; playing music, acting on stage, being a TV soundie & working in sports comms.
So, what exactly is a de-Fluffer? Well, since I’m also a writer I shall keep that detail unexplained until we are underway.


5 mins to kick off. All systems go. First up, Scotland vs. Canada, 2 underdogs close to my heart. I have Scots roots & my daughter has Canadian. Not sure who to support. Maybe Canada, as they are the biggest/smallest underdogs (and their motto is ‘Canadian Rugby…BeLeaf’).


Well, the rest of yesterday’s attempt to blog was a bit of a washout. It turns out that touch screens don’t cope that well with rain, light or heavy, both of which dampened my sideline possie.

And while I could get into the players tunnel for a bit of shelter at times, I soon churned through my battery and couldn’t find a place to recharge. That said, even if it had stayed fine and my phone was capable of the days of charge our phones used to easily achieve, by the evening the stone age cell-phone/internet coverage at the CakeTin was at capacity making it impossible to even send a text.

This is probably one of the reasons attendances have slumped. People expect to be able to text their mates to hook up or post photos of themselves at the venue. It’s so bad that an Australian crew I worked at this venue with last year had been warned by previous visitors.

But I’m not here to grumble.

With the burning summer sun of the morning & the heavy rain of the afternoon, and 10 hours of being PAed by the latest singalong hits, I was pretty shattered by the time I got home at midnight.

After 6 hours sleep I’m back, ready for another day of shirt-lifting and de-Fluffing.


2 thoughts on “Confessions of a De-Fluffer

  1. Pingback: Ghosts of Sevens Past | zildchurch

  2. Pingback: The Carnival Is | zildchurch

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