#ItMightMeanTooMuch: The story of the viral Alabama quarterback jersey switcher
Daniel Henao wore an Alabama shirt to work every day leading up to the season opener against Louisville last week.
It had been quite the eight months for the two-time Alabama graduate at the PR/advertising agency where he worked in midtown Atlanta. Henao was plenty experienced with trolling Georgia fans, though he usually kept it to the occasional tweet or some light-hearted workplace banter.
So during their college colors week at work, Henao decided to rep his alma mater one more time ahead of Saturday’s opener. His original plan for Friday was to wear the Tua Tagovailoa jersey that he bought the day after he witnessed the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, a purchase he made at work while still exhausted from the previous night.
The only problem was that Henao also loved the Jalen Hurts jersey that he bought after the 2016 opener.
“Then I was like, ‘Wait. I’ve got the perfect idea,’” Henao said.
Henao would simply do what Nick Saban did eight months earlier. He’d roll with Hurts in the first half of the day and then switch to Tagovailoa for the second half.
The result of Henao’s jersey joke was a tweet that went viral:
— football liker (@DanielHenao459) August 31, 2018
The reaction within the office was all Henao was looking for. He had no idea that his tweet would get more than 3,200 likes.
Henao’s mission from the start — troll the Georgia fans who outnumbered him at his office — was complete.
“I’ve just been having a lot of fun with it. I’ve just been showing the Georgia fans, ‘Hey, look. My tweet went viral,’” Henao said. “They roll their eyes.”
Oh, and it wasn’t just the Georgia fans who had a reaction to it.
“The few Alabama grads in my office thought it was hilarious, and some Auburn people were like, ‘Oh, I hate ‘Bama, but that’s funny,’” Henao said. “It took a second for some of the Georgia people to realize what was going on. They did the whole angry, head shake, look away, get away from me. I think they found it funny, but they were a little mad.”
Henao’s jersey-trolling joke reflected Alabama’s embarrassment of riches at the position. While he understands that Tagovailoa has more potential as a passer than Hurts, it has still been a bit bittersweet for him to watch this all unfold.
Back when Alabama was settling on a starter before the 2016 season, Henao was all in on Hurts getting the nod. He had heard the reports out of camp that the true freshman was making a serious push, and he was hoping that Saban would give him the Week 1 start. That, however, went to Blake Barnett.
But when Hurts entered in the first half against USC and essentially stole the starting job, Henao was all in. The following week, he bought his knockoff Hurts jersey from a Japanese distributor. Hurts quickly became Henao’s favorite Alabama player, and just repping a typical jersey from the bookstore wasn’t good enough to show his support.
“I have favorite players. I don’t want to just wear a generic No. 16 Alabama jersey,” Henao said.
It was the Hurts jersey that Henao wore and continues to wear with pride. Even though Tagovailoa was named the starter, the plan is to rotate between the two jerseys. He’ll wear the crimson Tagovailoa jersey for home games, and he’ll wear the white Hurts jersey on the road.
What if Hurts transfers, though? Will Henao still wear the jersey?
“Oh yeah. Definitely,” Henao said. “My first year was 2012. I’ve been through a lot of Alabama seasons. Jalen Hurts is probably my favorite player so far. I just love his attitude and the way he composes himself both on and off the field. He’s just a class act.
“Now if he were to go to Tennessee or Auburn, I don’t know. I’d have some weird feelings about that.”
Henao did make a pitch to get Hurts to stay in Tuscaloosa to finish out his undergraduate degree and to enroll in the graduate program. As an Alabama communications major like Hurts, Henao is living proof of how valuable the degrees are in the workforce.
After all, Henao has a job that allows him to wear a jersey on a Friday. Rather, jerseys*.
Henao’s Alabama fandom is evident in more than just what he wears during college colors week at work.
Recently, he and his wife bought a 6-month-old kitten. Naturally, they named it “Bryant” after legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant.
The shelter asked if they also wanted to take in the kitten’s brother. Henao and his wife jumped at the opportunity. What did they name the second kitten?
“Denny,” of course.