Still grinding that axe

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Plan B? These days, a good Internet rant and tell-all book threat seems to do the trick.

Former Iowa Hawkeye wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos returned to the headlines with a vengeance earlier this week after a seemingly spontaneous yet retrospectively calculated Twitter tirade against Kirk Ferentz. The mercurial ex-football player began to drop not-to-subtle hints about Ferentz impeding his path to a professional career, followed by more piercing outside-the-lines accusations and finally – yet not surprisingly – a convenient tease about publishing a book that will bring Ferentz and the program to its knees both by NCAA standards and in the court of public opinion.

So DJK’s highly-anticipated social media attack on the Iowa head coach is finally under way, albeit three years later than expected. His playing career over and relevance fading, apparently now is as good a time as any for the man who was arrested on a drug charge and suspended before the Hawkeyes’ bowl game his senior year.

After leaving Iowa, DJK went undrafted and never saw a down in the NFL. He tried his hand at the Canadian Football League. Twice. He was released. Twice. At one point, DJK even joined the Arena League’s Iowa Barnstormers. A month later – you guessed it – he was cut.

Notice a pattern?

In this day and age, though, failure is rarely the fault of the individual. So despite having multiple chances to prove his worth on the field and distance himself from college issues that supposedly bogged him down, DJK has decided to turn back the clock, play the victim all over again, and burn as many bridges between himself and Iowa City as possible in the process.

Let’s be clear: Ferentz is no saint, and he doesn’t pretend to run a monastery. DJK probably has dirt on the coach and his behind-the-scenes behavior, as well as the transgressions of his former teammates. I don’t doubt that. Airing their dirty laundry now to make a buck and stay in the news by any means necessary reeks of desperation, though – especially for someone who has way too many skeletons in his own closet to get into a he said/he said battle.

Apparently, DJK is OK with being a pariah, just to, what was that again? Set the record straight? Clear his name? Warn future Hawkeyes of the dangers of committing to big bad Ferentz and his renegade program?

Given his credibility rating? Yeah, right.

I’m sure DJK will carry out this resurrected vendetta for as long as possible, especially with the real world staring him down for the first time. It’s a sad commentary on both his state of mind and maturity level.

This isn’t about the Hawkeyes, and it isn’t about Ferentz, either – DJK’s favorite scapegoat. This is about a man who refuses to move on. A man who wants to play the blame game instead of taking ownership and responsibility for his actions. A man looking for sympathy and attention, regardless of substance or sacrifice.

A man who needs to come up with one more excuse after a playing career full of them.

Eric Pratt is Sports Editor at The Messenger. He may be reached afternoons and evenings at 1-800-622-6613, or by e-mail at