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FSU football: How fourth and 14 went from iconic play to T-shirt in 73 hours

The play that gave Mike Norvell a breakthrough win and doomed Manny Diaz inspired Jordan Travis’ top-selling tee.
 
T-shirts celebrating Florida State's fourth-and-14 conversion against Miami began selling on Jordan Travis' website within a few days of his throw.
T-shirts celebrating Florida State's fourth-and-14 conversion against Miami began selling on Jordan Travis' website within a few days of his throw. [ Courtesy of Joe Hernandez ]
Published Nov. 3, 2022|Updated Nov. 3, 2022

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis’ fourth-and-14 conversion that helped beat Miami last year was a watershed moment in Florida college football.

It helped Seminoles coach Mike Norvell earn a breakthrough triumph against an archrival. It became the point of no return for Manny Diaz’s Hurricanes tenure.

And it gave Joe Hernandez an idea for a T-shirt.

“It was unreal,” Hernandez said.

Related: The one play that changed the trajectory of FSU, Miami

That’s how it goes in the era of name, image and likeness (NIL). Unreal moments that once led only to lucrative moves for coaches now create smaller (but no less significant) paydays for players, all in the span of a few days.

Hernandez, 28, was a walk-on linebacker at FSU under Jimbo Fisher and a member of the 2013 national title team. He’s also the founder and CEO of the sports marketing firm Just Win Management Group. His most famous client is former Bucs No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston — Hernandez’s former FSU teammate.

Hernandez connected with Travis after seeing him retweet something about Winston and watching him account for five touchdowns in last October’s win over North Carolina.

Ten days after the Tar Heels game, Travis became one of Hernandez’s clients. A week after that, Hernandez set up jordantravis13.com.

“We did that knowing that that Miami game was in the future,” Hernandez said. “That’s something I feel like pretty much every athlete with some sort of notoriety should have — a website where they can be ready to put something out after a big moment.”

That big moment arrived on Nov. 13 with a minute left and Travis’ Seminoles trailing 28-23. Fourth and 14.

Travis calmly hit Andrew Parchment over the middle for 24 yards. Travis’ short touchdown rush two snaps later won the game, but fourth and 14 was the play that immediately joined Wide Left, the Block at Hard Rock and all three Wide Rights among the legendary plays in this legendary rivalry.

Jordan Travis (13) rushed for the winning touchdown in Florida State's victory over Miami last year, but that isn't the play people remember.
Jordan Travis (13) rushed for the winning touchdown in Florida State's victory over Miami last year, but that isn't the play people remember. [ MARK WALLHEISER | AP (2021) ]
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“At that moment, I was already thinking … there as to be a shirt or something,” Hernandez said.

During Hernandez’s playing days, there couldn’t be. Or if there was, a player couldn’t be involved. Hernandez still has a black FSU Nike shirt that says “Do it big” — a phrase Winston popularized but could not monetize.

That changed in July 2021 when name, image and likeness deals became legal. Fourth and 14 wasn’t the first deal or the biggest, but it was one of the first chances a college player could quickly capitalize on a historic performance.

Travis told reporters this week that he knew the conversion was “pretty important,” but he let Hernandez handle most of the business side. That process began when the clock hit zero on FSU’s three-point victory. Hernandez began to brainstorm. A day or two later, he ran some ideas by Travis.

“We wanted it to be something without an image,” Hernandez said. “The text and fourth and 14 speaks for itself.”

There was little back-and-forth with this design. Just 4th and 14 with Travis’ signature below.

One of the final decisions was the price. While checking Twitter, Hernandez noticed fans suggesting an inclusion of the 31-28 final score somehow. So Hernandez asked Travis about selling the shirts for $31.28.

“He thought it was awesome,” Hernandez said. “It’s all in good fun.”

Less than 73 hours after his throw to Parchment, Travis introduced his new line of merchandise on Twitter.

By that Sunday — eight days after fourth and 14 — T-shirts made by the apparel company 500 LEVEL were being delivered. Some will probably be worn into the Hard Rock Stadium crowd Saturday when the Seminoles visit Miami.

Hernandez said Travis’ website has had about 2,000 unique orders since it launched last Oct. 26; fourth-and-14 items are its top sellers, even more than the Tiger King shirts that launched after FSU’s 24-23 win over LSU. That price: $24.23, of course — not as many points as they had hoped, Hernandez joked.

Merchandise is only one part of Travis’ portfolio. He has done meet and greets, partnered with Glory Days Grill and worked with Virc Nutritionals on FSU sour gummies, among other deals. But the fourth-and-14 gear resonates, giving fans a chance to connect over an unforgettable moment.

Until the next one. And if one happens Saturday, Hernandez will be ready.

“You can’t predict the games or how they’re going to go,” Hernandez said. “If there’s a big moment in the game, we can do our best to get the fans something that they’ll appreciate and be able to remember.”

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