CBS NY- Jeffrey Vanchiro — better known as Jeffrey Gamblero, the dancing Brooklyn Nets superfan — died Sunday after a reported fall from a second-floor window. He was 38.
Vanchiro made headlines earlier this month when he was carried out of a Nets-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden without his prosthetic leg.
His fiancee, Kristi Evans, told ESPN that he “was a completely different person” after the incident at MSG.
“He was paranoid. He was erratic,” she said. “He was frightened. He was horrified. He was a bit delusional. And he was having a lot of trouble sleeping. He couldn’t sleep at all. When he would sleep or try to sleep, it would only take about 10 to 15 minutes before he would wake up screaming, covered in sweat.”
Although from on the surface it looks like it, I will stop short of calling it suicide. Who knows what really happened? The fact of the matter is this is a very strange and very sad story. Out of respect to the deceased I will not repost the video for which the article refers to. The video of the Nets' super fan being carried out of MSG for causing a disturbance, which according to many parties was greatly overblown. I don't want to play psychologist, despite my general expertise in the field (B+ in General Psych). Fact is, I can't imagine him getting carried out, with prosthetic leg in hand , causing as much anguish as it apparently caused.
I watched a movie earlier (Disconnected) that was base loosely on a high school kid getting tricked into sending a naked picture then eventually attempting suicide when the picture spreads around school. I see the logic behind that. Being embarrassed in front of people you have to spend every day with. Students that judge every little thing that happens and refuse to let things go can be cruel. That's why I am kind of foggy on how this public incident could take over Jeffrey's life. Generally speaking, he doesn't personally know those that saw him get carried out of MSG. He doesn't know a majority of the people that posted the video and wrote articles about it online. I'm as diehard a Devils fan as they come, but I can't imagine anything they do affecting me in such an inconsolable way. I already know I have very little interest in what the majority of Devils' fans think. I am sure he watched everything posted on the internet about the incident. Maybe he thought it was a bigger deal than it was. I think I can speak for most when I say I forgot about it mere days after it happened.
Watching sports and attending games are supposed to distract us from the negative aspects of life. The deaths, the sicknesses, the financial worries are supposed to be forgotten come tip-off. When that is not the case and they cause so much anxiety in a person's life it is very concerning. Sure, there have been nights where I have suffered through a bad mood due to my sports teams. There have been games where I have been escorted out for doing dumb shit. It all comes with the territory of caring too much about the outcome. I could never see it affecting my sleep cycles, or causing mass panic, or changing my mood and personality for days/weeks on end. I don't know what was going on in Jeffrey's head, that much is evident. I think the takeaway here is at the end of the day we just have to have the ability to laugh at our most embarrassing moments and never forget that sports, though they seem so important, are just an entertainment mechanism.
RIP to Jeffery and my condolences to his family. From a fellow Nets' fan (though far from a super fan) I can say the Brooklyn fan base and community will miss the enthusiasm you brought to the Barclay's Center.
Real cool move on behalf of the Nets…..