That is the coolest football card I have ever seen!
As I remember it, those were my exact words upon seeing a 1997 SPx card for the first time. Die cuts had been done before. Tons of sets used foil accents. Holograms on cards went all the way back to the mythical Lombardi Trophy card from 1990 Pro Set. Heck, Upper Deck had even used these exact same holographic images in previous sets, like the 1996 SPx set. There was something about the way all of that was put together in this set, though, that really got me drooling over these cards.
Back when these were new, I only bought a few packs and singles of the Packers in the set. Opening a whole box was out of the question… until now! My wife helped open this one, and I made sure to stress the importance of opening each pack delicately, as there was only one card per pack. She then proceeded to find TWO cards in her first pack. Naturally. There was a base card (Hostetler, maybe?), and then there was this:
NFL HOF’er, all-time career sack leader, and one of my favorite ’90’s Packers! I was thrilled with this hit! Funny thing, though – there’s no Reggie White base card in this set; he only appears on this insert.
The rest of the box proceeded as expected. One card at a time from the other 35 packs, each one a work of cardboard perfection. Most of the big-name players were there – Marino, Favre, Emmitt, etc. With only 50 cards in the set, there wasn’t room for many obscure players. (Broncos QB Jeff Lewis is probably the worst.) Several gold parallels came out of the box, too, notably Jerry Rice. I stopped often to admire the holograms, most of which feature a moving, 3D image of the subject player. Eddie George winks, Favre grimaces, and Bobby Engram’s face erupts into a hilariously wide grin:
My only knock against this set is the lack of rookie cards. A 1997 SPx Tony Gonzalez rookie would be pretty awesome! Other than that, this is truly one of my favorite football card sets of the ’90’s or any decade. Colorful, foil-accented, die-cut design, awesome holograms and a checklist full of great players make 1997 SPx my ultimate #CardCrush.
Share your biggest #CardCrush in the comments below!