“Benej” Table Hockey Game

Season 2, Episode 1 – Interview with Rick Benej

THS_004, Season 2, Episode 1. Run time 30 minutes.

This episode pays homage to Rick Benej, founder and manfacturer of the “Benej” table hockey game. It is part one of five parts (1 of 5 parts).

The other four parts of the interview will be spread over the 2022-23 ice and table hockey season.

After close to 40 years, Rick has retired. As he wrote on the main page of his website, www.TableHockey.com, “If any company is interested in my design, making wonderful games, please contact me.” —Rick @ TableHockey (dot) com .

 

Podcast Notes for Kick Off of Season 2, Episode 1 (THS_004)

 

Notes from the Introduction

Eight years have elapsed since the last episode of the Table Hockey Show.

Thank You’s:

  • John Fayolle, SoHo Table Hockey LLC, Manhattan
  • Carlo Bossio, Quebec
  • Patrick Cote, Quebec
  • Jeremy Davis, Connecticut
  • Shawn Smith, Maryland
  • Anthony & Kristin Peake, Michigan
  • Ron Marsik, Illinois,
  • Reggie Stefaniszcyn, Edmonton, Alberta
  • Ajit Sarma, Anaheim, California
  • Sukhdev Raj, India

And, the communities and members of the:

The World Table Hockey Association is the Events Rights Holder in the USA and Canada.

Value

The Table Hockey Show’s goal this season, 2022-23, is to provide you, our listeners, with value.

How so?

Collectors & Preservation

If you collect table hockey or ice hockey items…whether jerseys, books, posters, et cetera we will provide you with information and/or experts who can explain how to preserve those items. For example, how to stabilize paper.

Collectors & Investing

What should you consider when collecting or investing in table or ice hockey items? Is it autographed? Is is a reproduction of an autograph? Is it a jersey or item you had signed by, for example, an NHL player? Or is it an item an NHL player wore during a game? Was it autographed? What is the quality of the autograph? All of this factors into the price and future potential value of the item.

Interviews – for this season

  • Rick Benej, Creator and Manufacturer of what is affectionately known as the “Benej” Table Hockey Game. www.TableHockey.com
  • Jeremy Davis, SuperChexx “Bubble” Hockey Champion over many years. 
  • Edgars Caics, Stiga’s International Champion. Read more at WTHA.com
  • Carlo Bossio, custom Coleco and now SoHo Classic Champion over many years. Read more at WTHA.com
  • Olga Dolonina, influential and an ambassador of the sport in the Ukraine. Read more at WTHA.com

Over the course of this season, we will have guests including players, collectors, event organizers, manufacturer’s and craftsmen. Or, in some cases, we may not interview but focus the show on such people as Stan Fischler.

Stan Fischler

A multi-TV Emmy winner, last fall inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame (where I was present), writer of 100+ books on ice hockey, known by everyone who knows ice hockey especially in the greater NYC area, the “maven” Stan Fischler…has uniquely spanned ice hockey and table hockey for 50+ years. He first had table hockey tournaments in his and his late-wife Shirley’s home in Manhattan beginning in the late 1960s. Later, he authored a column about table hockey in Actions Sports magazine in the 1970s. More recently, he’s guided the MSG+ TV to table hockey events in NYC (NYCTHL) and just in August 2022 did the introduction the SoHo Table Hockey’s Championships on ESPN 8 “The Ocho”…ESPN 2.

Olga Dolonina

My first degree is International Affairs (and my job involves security), so I follow world news closely. I also enjoyed playing ice hockey and table hockey.

Well, I intend to provide you with an interview a woman who spans all of those areas and more. She caught my attention a few years back, Olga Dolonina, Ukraine. She mentored with the NHL, partnered with the US State Department and brought table hockey games and joy to children and families of the Ukraine.

You should look forward to that interview.

Sports Events Tourism Assn & Sport Tourism Canada

We will also Introduce you to members of the USA-based Sports Events Tourism Assn and Sport Tourism Canada, so you can learn more about sport tourism, events, what stakeholders are looking for and more…

As well as interviews with members of the International Sport Heritage Association, which includes members from, for example, curators and preservationists from Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Hockey Hall of Fame, and Baseball Hall of Fame.

Upcoming Events:

2022-23

The Old Ellicott Cup, Ellicott City, Maryland, September 24, 2022

  • Tentative are: 
    • Buffalo, NY
    • Edmonton, Alberta, and in 
    • Greater Washington, DC (Virginia) for this season 

2023-24

  • Greater Saint Louis, (Edwardsville, Illinois), September 2023.  Yes, next year.

 

Podcast Notes and Time Stamps of different subjects discussed in our first interview with Rick Benej.

Name Time Stamp within Episode
Rick Benej’s Location New York State 18:11.855
Where Rick started tournaments 18:38.344
First discussion Stan Fischler’s beginnings 19:17.201
NY Rovers 19:27.921
Trove of Info at TableHockey.com 20:14.945
So How Did This All Start for You? Rick Benej 20:46.662
Grew Up in Queens. Started with “Nok Hockey” 21:15.356
High School, the Garden, St. Francis HS 21:40.416
Milk Carton Floor Hockey 22:07.675
TH Games at Xmas 22:44.742
1st job: Display Shop and learning from tradesmen 23:05.640
Friend Elliott Schonemann, later famous Hollywood Writer 23:14.699
Making his first game 23:39.329
His years learning design and models 24:20.185
’82 Started making games in Brooklyn 24:35.162
End of early story, 1987 24:59.229
Henry St. – 1st manuf place. Movie “Moonstruck” – Cher, Canadians come to play 25:14.411
The Start of Canadians Coming Down to Brooklyn 25:46.765
Umberto “Junior” Riveto 26:40.921
1 – End of Episode 1 (9 min) 26:49.923