Second Act: Ta'u Pupu'a finds his calling as opera singer

Former NFL defensive lineman Ta'u Pupu'a knows a little about tragedy in sports. After all, he watched Cleveland fans weep when the Browns were moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens.

That also was about the time that Pupu'a decided to retire and pursue his other dream -- to be an opera singer, an occupation where he sings about tragedy.

"A voice inside of me said, 'Move forward, move on and go into singing.' " said the Weber State product, who was profiled Wednesday on "NFL AM" as the third part of a series looking at successful retired players titled "Second Act." "I packed my two bags, got on the train and went to New York. I started knocking on doors to become an opera singer."

Pupu'a graduated two years ago from The Julliard School's music program as a tenor.

"Being a tenor is a huge responsibility," Pupu'a said. "Us tenors, we sing in a place that we don't speak."

Like any other profession, Pupu'a said you have to pay your dues to be a successful opera singer. Not everyone walks in and becomes the next Luciano Pavarotti.

"I hear a lot of people say, 'Tenors -- cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching,' " he laughed. "Hopefully, I'll get there."

Pupu'a said the Browns' move to Baltimore would make a good opera.

"Opera is about love and death and all this drama," he said. "And that's what happened. Fans loved their Browns, and once the team left, the town sort of died. That would be a good opera."

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