Hat’s Incredible: A Look Back at How Panini America Once Made Houndstooth History

January 02, 2019

Hat Clip

As is so often the case this time of year, the Alabama Crimson Tide is preparing to play in yet another College Football Playoff National Championship Game. In fact, Monday’s must-see matchup against Clemson will mark Alabama’s fourth consecutive appearance in college football’s biggest game — and the Tide will be looking to roll to its third championship in that time. Such dominance hearkens back to the houndstooth glory days of Paul “Bear” Bryant and those transcendent Tide teams of the 1960s and 1970s. And that, of course, reminds us of something else.

Almost eight years ago, inside Panini America’s 2011 Century Collection product, company officials inserted some truly unique Souvenir Stamps trading cards that included pieces of memorabilia worn by Bryant and fellow coaching legend Knute Rockne as well as U.S. postage stamps honoring both men. The swatch of Rockne memorabilia embedded into each of the 100 cards hailed from a fur coat he once owned. Bryant’s inclusion, however, called for something much more distinctive: One of his hallmark houndstooth hats.


We flipped our lids back then at the opportunity to painstakingly follow Bryant’s hallowed headwear through the production process for a memorable “Making Of” video. But as we prepare for Monday’s showdown, we thought it might make sense to fetch the video from our vault and share it again this week.

For every sports fan and collector who ever wanted to know how a memorabilia trading card is made, clear your schedules for the next four minutes and watch this time-lapse video that’s as truly unique as the trading card it chronicles. Even if you’ve seen it before, it’s worth watching again.