Former Buff Keith Miller shows off his pipes. (No, the other pipes).

If there was only some way to retroactively haze him, Keith Miller's old Colorado teammates would have plenty of fun with the recent story in the New York Times celebrating the old fullback's upcoming solos for the Metropolitan Opera, and revealing his old movie-watching habits:

Mr. Miller's life-changing moment came a few weeks after that big game, when he and a girlfriend went to a performance of "The Phantom of the Opera."

"I had that same feeling that I had during that game watching this goofy show," he said. "It just blew me away. And you know, when you grow up in a town like Ovid, you always have an idea of what life would be like if you ever won the lotto. You could go to a big city. You could go to fancy restaurants. You could live with culture around you, art and music. That was the spark that kind of ignited inside."

So he started watching DVDs, and singing along.

"I listened to all the musical theater I could: 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Oklahoma,' 'Kiss Me Kate,' 'King and I,' " he said. "Then I ran out of musical theater. So one day I rented 'The Three Tenors,' and I saw Pav sing 'Nessun Dorma,' and this look in his eye on the last note just galvanized everything for me. I was like, that is unbelievable, what he just did.

Miller, a native of Ovid, struggled to find his place in professional football; he played in the Arena League and elsewhere but, despite a tryout with the Broncos, never caught on the NFL. Always cool to see a football player who finds something even more interesting to do in the after-life. It's an all-too-rare feat.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Joe Tone
Contact: Joe Tone