The Floor Changer Paul Chambers, 50, switches the arena surfaces at Boston's FleetCenter between hockey and basketball games.

November 26, 2001

What's your job?

I'm a member of the FleetCenter Bull Gang. About 40 of us change
the floors, put up seating and put up the glass alongside the
rink. I started when I was 18, at the old Boston Garden.

Why is it called the Bull Gang?

I think it's because we work like bulls.

What skills are needed for this job?

You have to lift heavy objects. You have to know how a sports
arena runs. And the floor setup is like putting together a
puzzle.

How do you go from ice to hardwood?

At the Garden we'd put canvas down over the ice, then put a wood
subfloor down, and over that we'd put the parquet panels. There
were 244 panels and 988 screws. It took two to 21/2 hours.

Is it different at the FleetCenter?

We don't have to screw down the new floor; it just interlocks. We
use a hammer to push everything together. But it actually takes
30 to 45 minutes longer than it did at the Garden.

Ever get hurt?

You get splinters. Last week I had to go to the hospital to get a
2 1/2-inch piece of wood out of my hand.

Has anyone complained about the floor or the ice?

Some players complain about the ice no matter what. They'll say
it's too hard or too chippy. Phil Esposito used to complain about
the ice all the time. Finally the building manager, Kingsley
Brown, went down to the dressing room and asked each player,
"How's the ice?" All of them said it was fine. Kingsley then went
to Esposito and said, "You know, you're the only one complaining
about the ice." There were no more complaints from him after
that.

How have things changed since you started?

The players now are rude. They walk around as if they have a chip
on their shoulder. Bobby Orr would sign autographs until every
last person had one. I've never seen a guy with more class.

Which do you like better, the FleetCenter or the Garden?

My heart is in the old building, but the Fleet has air
conditioning, which makes a big difference. I remember a Lawrence
Welk concert at the Garden in the summer. The old people were
falling in droves.

--Anna Holmes

COLOR PHOTO: RICK FRIEDMAN (FLOOR)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)