It’s a dark day

It’s a dark day. The Detroit Tigers lost a great fan. Other Tigers fans lost a kindred spirit. A sister lost a brother and parents lost a son.

Brian Bluhm, who was a frequent commentor here at DTW as well as any place else on the internet that was talking about the Tigers, was killed in the shootings at Virginia Tech.

Brian was just finishing up his masters degree in Civil Engineering focusing on water resources. He had a 9am class on hydrology with 8 other students. Unfortunately the class was in Norris Hall.

Brian could be found here posting as Brian B, other places he was vttigers, and at the Motown Sports message boards he was known as estrepe1. Chances are that if you used the net to look for Tigers news and discussion you probably encountered Brian at some point. If you only crossed paths with him once it probably didn’t leave an impression because Brian was simply intelligent, thoughtful, considerate, and polite in all of his postings. But if you spent any amount of time with him online he became an instant favorite because he was simply intelligent, thoughtful, considerate, and polite in all his postings.

I never actually met Brian, but we exchanged ideas in various formats and communicated via email as well. When I told people at work yesterday that I had an “internet friend” who is at VT, I got a few raised eyebrows but I didn’t know how else to describe him. I did/do consider him a friend. I sent a quick email when I heard about the shootings, and the longer it went unanswered the more uneasy I became. As the grim news was pieced together last night I felt sick to my stomach when the worst fears became confirmed.

My thoughts and prayers are with Brian’s family, as well as all the families who lives have been touched by this tragic event.

Related Threads at Motown Sports
Thread at John Sickels Minor League Ball
Putting a face with the name.

Detroit Tiger Tales
Bless You Boys
Mack Avenue Tigers
Tigers Thoughts

Curtis Granderson makes Brian his #1 friend. Granderson also blogs about it.

Danny Knobler
Det News/Henning


  1. Jon D

    April 17, 2007 at 5:32 am

    I recognize Brian’s name and those were nice words regarding a real Tigers fan. I’m sure he had the best seats in the house for last night’s big win. My thoughts are with you and his family.

  2. Jon D

    April 17, 2007 at 5:32 am

    I recognize Brian’s name and those were nice words regarding a true Tigers fan. I’m sure he had the best seats in the house for last night’s big win. My thoughts are with you and his family.

  3. TM

    April 17, 2007 at 7:13 am

    That’s just horrible to hear. I’ve been almost sick hearing all of the reports over the last 24 hours from VT. I read this blog daily and though I rarely leave a comment myself, I look forward to reading the opinions of my fellow fans. I will miss Brian’s contributions and my thoughts go out to his family and friends.

  4. Eric Jackson

    April 17, 2007 at 7:19 am

    This was horrible news to wake up to and such a horrid event for all those involved and it hits a bit closer to home when someone from the Tiger family was affected in such a way.

    I read the comments from motownsports and the minor league ball blog and its clear to see he will be remembered fondly in the baseball circles and I’m sure elsewhere. My thoughts are certainly with his family and friends.

  5. Joey C.

    April 17, 2007 at 8:11 am

    What a messed up world we live in.

    I’m sorry to hear you lost a friend Billfer and I’m sorry we lost a member of our community to such a horrifying, senseless event. I can’t imagine what those kids went through.

  6. Walt

    April 17, 2007 at 8:44 am

    How horrible. My heart goes out to his family. Virginia Tech was on my short list of schools for my ph d work.


  7. Ben in Denver

    April 17, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for the information and kind words, Billfer. My thoughts and warmest wishes go out to those touched by this terrible event.

  8. IdahoBert

    April 17, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for your tribute Bill. Brian will be missed as a person and in all the many places on the internet he frequented.

  9. Chris Y.

    April 17, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Terrible news. These horrific acts are so completely incomprehensible, its impossible to put such events into words.

  10. Bix

    April 17, 2007 at 10:56 am

    Tragic news, billfer. I’m very sorry for both his familys’ loss — his sister and his parents, and the Tiger community. As always, your tribute is classy and well said.

    Best wishes to everyone, and lots of prayers.

  11. DJS

    April 17, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Thanks for the tribute, which rings true. I haven’t posted over at Motown Sports since late last season, but I still associate the name “estrepe” with both humor and insight, as well as passion for the Tigers.

  12. Dan

    April 17, 2007 at 11:47 am

    Man, Billfer, that is a tough thing to write, and it must be terrible for Brian’s family to find out that he was part of this thing. I know you’re the only one who’s going to read this, so I just want to say that it’s a well done tribute. Poor guy.

  13. Andy in West Branch

    April 17, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    A truly sad and tragic event that, unfortunatly, has claimed one of our own. Although I never met Brian (estrepe), I considered him a friend, I don’t post often here because people like Brian seemed to always capture my thoughts and post them before I could. Words can not express how much he’ll be missed.

  14. Adam

    April 17, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    It truly is sad when something like this happens, something that makes us all open our eyes and realize how insignificant something like baseball is. Still, it is something that can bring us together like it has, and without it none of us would have had the pleasure to talk to Brian. And I’m sure we’ll all have him, as well as the other students killed, in our thoughts for a long time to come.

  15. Adam

    April 17, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    It = baseball. Sorry for my un-clarity.

  16. Deran (Yoda)

    April 17, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Very well written, Bill. Thanks for doing this. I will miss him very much, for a long time to come. MotownSports will be a different place without it’s best.

  17. Kathy

    April 17, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    I’m sorry for the loss of your internet friend. It’s true that many of us never meet but befriend people online and they become a part of our life. One of our very own shot down. It’s horrible. My prayers and thoughts to his family and all his friends.

  18. Walt

    April 17, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    I will miss him and I don’t even post on the forum, only read. Reading this news this morning made the horrible tragedy that happened at Virginia Tech that much worse. My condolences go to all of his family and friends.


  19. Bobby

    April 17, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    My condolences to his family and friends. I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to meet him. Clearly, there are a lot of people here better off for having known him.

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  21. KS

    April 17, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    I can’t even count how many times I’ve read his stuff on the message boards. It seemed that if there was anything to do with Detroit sports, he had a comment on it, and he always spoke in rationale thoughtful terms. He was the best in Detroit sports fans.

  22. Rob (Oblong)

    April 17, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Bill, thanks for doing this and your part in getting the word out with the media. Brian will definately be missed. Detroit Sports fans who use the internet to follow their teams have lost something special. Obviously it’s not even comparable to the loss his family and friends feel but it still hurts nontheless. Heartfelt thoughts go out to his family. Something good will come out of this.

  23. Cameron in Singapore

    April 17, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Very sad to hear this. My prayers are with all the families.

  24. Walewander

    April 17, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    My thoughts and best wishes go out to Brian’s family in this unimaginably awful time. From his posts here, and the remembrances I’ve read of him today, he seemed like an incredible person.

  25. Edman85

    April 17, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    Bill, you were instrumental in getting everything in place for today. This makes you a very very good person, just know that.

  26. Mark P.

    April 17, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    Bilfer, thanks for passing the news. What a terrible tragedy. I will miss reading his posts on this and other sports blogs. RIP

  27. Rings

    April 18, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Horrific. Awful. Disheartening.
    Thanks Bilfer, for letting us know about Brian, but every life lost – with the exception of the shooter – is a senseless and tragic loss.

  28. Matt

    April 18, 2007 at 6:57 am

    I was just arguing with Brian this weekend about the disposition of the Tigers pitching prospects and like always, he won the argument. I’ve pm’d him plenty of times and really enjoyed his knowledge. What a shame.

  29. Walt

    April 18, 2007 at 11:10 am

    Curtis has also posted about Brian in his Blog.


  30. Andrew

    April 18, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Very saddened to hear this. He always had insightful comments and though we never met him – he seemed like a pretty decent fellow. Thanks for sharing this, Bill.

  31. ripismoney

    April 18, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing this news, it is just a reminder that things like this can affect those across the country. My condolences to Brian’s family as well as all others who were touched by this horrific morning of events in Virginia.

  32. Jojo SunDevil

    April 22, 2007 at 12:22 am

    Its a small small world. I can’t believe it. I almost don’t want to go through the old postings and see Brian B.

    R.I.P, to you and all the Va Tech students.

    This was a horrible tragedy

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