Big Yucks Help Reverse the Curse - Red Sox Hero Damon Says Comedian Craig Shoemaker Helped Him and Team Become World Series Champs

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Big Yucks Help Reverse the Curse - Red Sox Hero Damon Says Comedian Craig Shoemaker Helped Him and Team Become World Series Champs - He was laughing out loud last night, but it wasnÂ?t like that 10 days ago. Boston Red SoxÂ? Johnny Damon says laughter therapy helped end his dramatic post-season slump and rally the team to become World Series champs.

As Boston’s lead-off hitter, Damon hit a grand slam home run that advanced the Boston Red Sox to the World Series and another home run that turned out to be the game winner as the team beat Bambino’s curse and win the final game last night, 3-0. “There're a lot of happy people back in Boston tonight,” said a grinning Damon right after the win. Fox sportscaster Joe Buck said after the game “this fun-loving, reckless group looked history in the eye and gave it a little wink.”

Damon said he shared comedian Craig Shoemaker’s lighten-up therapy and comedy DVD with team members during their historic comeback against the Yankees and subsequent sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Speaking on his friend’s syndicated radio program, “The Craig Shoemaker Show,” Damon said laughter really does heal and making light of the serious slump and tough games took the edge off. “We had a never say die attitude and we had fun, we joked around,” he said. Shoemaker, who had spoken to and encouraged Damon during the series, is an award-winning comedian who heads the Laughter Heals Foundation. His lighten-up therapy also helped the Los Angeles Lakers break a slump last season.

“We were being ourselves and were having fun doing it,” Damon said on Shoemaker’s radio show. “I have your DVD right here in front of me.”

Shoemaker is a laughter guru whose non-profit Laughter Heals Foundation focuses the power of laughter in arenas where the outcome is more important than the biggest ball game. The Foundation brings comedy carts and interactive laughter therapy sessions to hospitals and individuals suffering from chronic and terminal illness.

(http://www.laughterheals.org) He is a 20 year comedy veteran who was seen by over two million people last year and well versed in how humor can help people in difficult circumstances.

Damon had only 3 hits for 29 at bats going into the final game, a far cry from his .305 regular season average. He stood at his locker after each game and fielded questions about his series-long sag, even blaming himself for the first losses. He ended all that with two homers including a grand slam that sent shock waves through the Yankees.

He led his team to break an even bigger slump and put Bambino’s curse in the hearse and give them the victory they have waited for since 1918. His lead off homerun in the decisive Game 4 of the World turned out to be the game winner as the Sox shut out the Cardinals to cap a sweep and eight game post-season winning streak.

Damon added “What is refreshing is just our attitudes and the way people look at our team. They see that we are enjoying ourselves and that’s what sports are supposed to be about, and what teams are supposed to be about. It’s about going out and having fun.”    

Shoemaker, who has known Damon for 11 years, told him his slump-ending grand slam was “One of the greatest moments of sports history and was one of those bonding moments with my family.” After the broadcast, Shoemaker filled in some of the details. “Johnny is an old friend of mine and we are in constant contact. I called him during the slump (both his and the team's), and reminded him about laughter healing. He's seen me about 20 times and always does well after the laughs. I reminded him about the time the Lakers and Coach Phil Jackson called me during a horrific slump, and after the team made a mandatory visit to a local comedy club, went on a 15-game winning streak and made the playoffs.”

He continued “Johnny watches the new DVD and had his pals watch too. He is obviously less tense at the plate and goes on to be the hero of the historic series. Here’s the good part. With all the press hounding him, he waked up the next days and he wakes up the next day and does my radio show for a half hour and speaks to our listeners and no one else. I guess you could say I helped reverse the curse.” The show can be heard at http://www.shoeradio.com.

Shoemaker, winner of Emmys and Comedian of the Year honors at the American Comedy Awards, juggles a host of entertainment and charity enterprises centered on The Laughter Heals philosophy. Shoemaker continues to be a standing-room-only draw at comedy clubs across the country as well as a popular talk-show host guest. Well-known for his “Lovemaster” routine, he has several DVDs and CDs of his material that he promotes with his “Laughter is the best medicine” message.

Shoe, as his friends call him, notes that after years of research, doctors and psychiatrists are becoming more aware of the therapeutic benefits of laughter and humor. It helps lower blood pressure and stress levels, increases circulation and oxygen delivery to the body and can even release pain-relieving agents.

He is hosting a benefit for the Laughter Heals Foundation at the Grand Opening of his all-things-comedy retail store The Laughter Store Nov. 12 in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Shoemaker said his whole organization exists to “create awareness of the power of laughter and the need for it. When you laugh, it’s a workout of mind, body and spirit.”

Press contact:

Nadine Jolson, Jolson Creative, 310-474-1776, cell direct 310-614-3214, nadine@jolsoncreative.com

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Nadine Jolson