TIGER KICKOFF: Copeland's Corner

Friday, August 30, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:26 p.m. CDT, Friday, August 30, 2013
Max Copeland stretches during Missouri football practice Saturday at Faurot Field. Copeland is majoring in physics and was named to the 2012 SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Max Copeland is an outspoken offensive guard for the Missouri Tigers. The former walk-on used to voice his opinions on Facebook and Twitter, but he decided to shelve social media last year. This is his new outlet.

My craft is punching people in their chest, driving my legs and trying to knock them down. It’s funny because it’s such a primitive kind of thing, but it’s actually very overcomplicated, and we’re trained very specifically. It’s all I do during the day. I’m not out chasing girls and doing cool stuff, man. I eat chicken breasts and I listen to heavy metal and I drink creatine and I work on my craft.

The government is probably out to get me. One day, you’re just not going to see me anymore. A white van is going to pull up, they’ll throw me in there, and you’re never going to see me again. They’ll cut my hair. It’ll be like "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest."

How weird of an idea is it to have (Twitter) followers? Is that not bizarre? I started to hate Twitter because it was kind of egomaniacal, you know? I don’t care what they have to say, but they should listen to me. I’m not into social media. There’s no connection.

I started to think of the Internet as an entity. It’s creating a virtual reality. When you’re walking around, you don’t get to see how people perceive you. But when you look at your profile page, you’re seeing what everyone else is seeing. You have complete control of how people see you. It’s centered around approval, and that’s something I’ve never really been into, if I haven’t made that blatantly obvious by now.

I don’t have any plans or aspirations. The way I look at it, this is what I’ve dreamed of doing since I was like 4 or 5. It was set in my mind. ... Kids would make fun of me in class when I said I wanted to play for Missouri after high school. It seems silly to me: If you’re living the dream, why would you start thinking about another dream? Live that one out. ... Then once that’s over, figure it out.

This is kind of over-romanticizing it, but I feel like this is my pilgrimage. This is where everything is shut out, and you just have your quest. That’s how I’ve very much looked at my journey here.

I hate watching ESPN. Except for the “Not Top 10.” But I hate it because there are so many football scientists that are saying there’s this secret formula. It’s like, “No, dude, this is an art, man.” When they compare athletes like LeBron (James) and Kobe (Bryant), they’re comparing artists.

School’s important, yada yada yada. But it’s about football. It’s always been about football. I came here for football, even though I damn sure wasn’t invited.

There was this dude I loved, a defensive lineman named Bart Coslet. He was a senior when I was a redshirt freshman. I don’t say this about many people, but he was rock 'n' roll. One of the freshmen had just thrown up during conditioning, and Bart slides through his puke and yells, “I eat freshman puke for breakfast!” I thought I would like to do things like that.


I’m intensely paranoid about the media. I don’t believe anything I hear. Not a single news station. ‘Cause man — all those news stations are in bed with advertising companies. There’s a reason why you tune in to Fox News and you see different commercials than the ones you see on MSNBC. There’s a reason all these news stations are different. They’re attracting different demographics, and they have these multi-billion-dollar corporations that are paying for this ad time.

Of course that’s going to influence the news, man. Who are you going to believe? I don’t think any of us know what’s going on.

They’ve got everybody fooled. They’re all drinking the Kool-Aid, dude. There’s so much money changing hands. You’re just a demographic being bought and sold by advertising companies.


Copeland’s pregame playlist has 61 songs to match his uniform number. Here is one of the essential tracks:

“Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent

Sweaty Teddy. The Motor City Madman. He’s one of the coolest damn dudes ever. I’ve got to listen to “Stranglehold” as soon as we get on the bus to the stadium, wherever we are. That is one of the greatest rock 'n' roll songs of all-time. It’s got killer bass lines, and the sustain on his Les Paul … he just kills it.

Supervising editor is Greg Bowers.

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