Most guys would be wary of making fun of nationally televised bumbles, fumbles, missed shots and botched plays made by massively tall men with tattooed arms and scowling faces.
However, Mike Goldfarb, a 2003 Hudson High School graduate, is not like most guys. Goldfarb, 29, is creator, writer and producer of "Shaqtin' a Fool," hosted by former NBA superstar, rapper, media sensation and actor Shaquille O'Neal.
The show airs as a weekly Thursday night segment during the Emmy Award winning "Inside the NBA," on Turner Network Television and as its own show on NBA TV.
Goldfarb, who pitched the show to the network in 2011, picks five of the best plays from as many as 50 NBA bloopers, many which are suggested by fans via the show's webpage and Facebook hash tag, and writes the copy, which is read on air by O'Neal during the programs. Fans can vote on their favorites.
"He'll just trust me and he reads my jokes verbatim," said Goldfarb, whose 5'10" frame is dwarfed by the 7'1" build of O'Neal. "We share the same sense of humor."
And former Cavalier O'Neal credits the former Hudsonite with the show's success.
"Mike is a great leader. He's flexible and his sense of humor is off the charts," O'Neal said. "He is the Kobe Bryant of [producers] -- in other words I could not have won multiple championships without him."
Goldfarb has not been approached by any angry players -- yet.
"It's funny, you would think they would get mad about us showing them committing bone-headed plays. But, the players love it," according to Goldfarb.
During last year's play-offs several players were asked by Goldfarb's crew, on camera, what they thought about "Shaqtin' a Fool."
One of the players said "we all love that show, but none of us want to be on it," Goldfarb said.
Goldfarb began his career in video production at Hudson High School, he said.
"I was selected to be in Hudson's first-ever broadcast journalism class my junior year of high school," he said.
After attending Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, Goldfarb realized he could combine two of his passions into a career.
"Going to Cavs and Indians games with my dad, Mark, when I was a kid … that made me fall in love with sports," Goldfarb said. "Most of my favorite memories as a kid involve going to sporting events with my dad. Cavs games, Indians games, Browns games, Ohio State University games… he took my brother, sister and I to all of them. Whether the teams were winning or losing, we always had a blast."
After working with NBC Sports and the NFL Network, Goldfarb moved to Atlanta and was hired as an associate producer for Turner Sports, where he has been for almost five years.
"I was just a sports-loving kid from Hudson, and now I'm living my dream job in Atlanta, working hands-on with NBA legend and media superstar Shaquille O'Neal," Goldfarb said. "My Hudson roots helped get me here -- I'm very proud of my Hudson roots."
In 2011, TNT announced O'Neal was joining the network team and officials asked for ideas which would fit his personality and style.
"When Shaq first came on board, we were looking for a vehicle for him... a blooper segment seemed to be the best fit, but we were struggling with concept and, more importantly, a name. Mike came up with Shaqtin' a Fool and proactively put together an actual tape, with an open, five plays, and a close with a call out for the fans to vote for their favorite on NBA.com," according to Tim Kiely, vice president of production and executive producer of Turner Sports. "It was a perfect marriage -- it played to Shaq's personality, and helped us cross promote NBA.com with the fan vote. Once I showed it to Shaq, he was all in, especially with the name, Shaqtin' a Fool -- he loved it."
The next day an email was circulated around the network that Goldfarb's idea was accepted.
"It was the best email I ever got and it is still saved on my desk top," Goldfarb said. "I owe a lot to him [Kiely]. He took a huge chance on the segment. He literally saw a good idea and he didn't care about what level I was at the time -- he took a chance on me, and for that, I am forever grateful."
The show transcends basketball, Goldfarb said.
"You don't have to be a basketball fan, as long as you're a fan of watching clumsy things happen, with other people watching and showing their reactions to those things, it's going to make you laugh," he said. "I haven't met anyone who has hated it yet."
People are naturally attracted to "Shaq" and can relate to the former member of the 1996 Olympic gold medal winning Dream Team III, and three-time NBA championship team member on their own level, Goldfarb said.
"His laugh is so contagious," Goldfarb said. "Even though nobody can related to his size, I think everybody can relate to his sense of humor. I think he has one of those universally accepted senses of humor and laughs."
And while Goldfarb referred to "Shaq" as "the man," the former star passed the title back to his producer and friend.
"Mike adds everything to the show he is Shaqtin' a Fool," O'Neal said. "His production and wittiness gives the show that Emmy feel -- Mike is the man."