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1997 SP Authentic Football Cards

1997 SP Authentic Football Cards

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As the football debut for the popular Upper Deck line, 1997 SP Authentic Football did not have the benefit of a built-in audience, but the premium brand quickly made its mark on the hobby. Although the 1997 edition cannot match the star power of Peyton Manning's rookie card the next year, several key condition-sensitive rookie cards drive the release.

Leading off the 198-card foil base set, Future Watch rookie cards command much of the collecting interest in 1997 SP Authentic Football. Although glamour offensive positions, like rookie cards for quarterback and running back, normally dominate football products, '97 SP Authentic is the exception. Chief among these are rookies for Orlando Pace, Tony Gonzalez and Walter Jones. A set headlined by cards for offensive lineman and tight end rookie cards is certainly a rare sight.

1997 SP Authentic Tony Gonzalez RC #111997 SP Authentic Walter Jones RC #6

Featuring a bold design, the first 30 cards in the 1997 SP Authentic Football base set cover the full Future Watch subset and then the traditional base set takes over. Although the base design showcases more of the background image, there is still plenty happening on these fragile cards.

Despite the face that some of the most popular names are found at the beginning of the checklist within the Future Watch subset, notable rookie cards are also found throughout the set with the base design. Jason Taylor, Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber are other top rookie card options found in 1997 SP Authentic Football.

1997 SP Authentic Jason Taylor RC #1161997 SP Authentic Football Ronde Barber RC

Drawing the most interest outside of the rookie cards, on-card autograph inserts and memorabilia redemptions offer several limited hits. In case it is not clear, all redemptions expired many years ago. Sign of the Times are the most common autograph options, averaging one per box. The SOTT design is also shared with Marks of a Legend and both are hard-signed. One of the toughest pulls in 1997 SP Authentic Football, Tradition dual autographs pair two greats on a single card.

1997 SP Authentic Football Marks of a Legend Staubach1997 SP Authentic Football PowerDeck Audio Aikman

Among the inserts, ProFiles is the main set and is broken into three tiers. In addition to the base design, there are two die-cut versions, with the rarest numbered to 100. Perhaps the most intriguing card in the set, PowerDeck Audio inserts are card shaped but can be played like a CD to reveal exclusive audio. Troy Aikman is the sole focus of the insert line with three levels of rarity.

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Set Checklist

1997 SP Authentic Football Checklist

Base Set Checklist

1997 SP Authentic Walter Jones RC #61997 SP Authentic Jason Taylor RC #116

Future Watch RCs
1 Orlando Pace - St. Louis Rams
2 Darrell Russell - Oakland Raiders
3 Shawn Springs - Seattle Seahawks
4 Peter Boulware - Baltimore Ravens
5 Bryant Westbrook - Detroit Lions
6 Walter Jones - Seattle Seahawks
7 Ike Hilliard - New York Giants
8 James Farrior - New York Jets
9 Tom Knight - Arizona Cardinals
10 Warrick Dunn - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11 Tony Gonzalez - Kansas City Chiefs
12 Reinard Wilson - Cincinnati Bengals
13 Yatil Green - Miami Dolphins
14 Reidel Anthony - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
15 Kenny Holmes - Houston Oilers
16 Dwayne Rudd - Minnesota Vikings
17 Renaldo Wynn - Jacksonville Jaguars
18 David LaFleur - Dallas Cowboys
19 Antowain Smith - Buffalo Bills
20 Jim Druckenmiller - San Francisco 49ers
21 Rae Carruth - Carolina Panthers
22 Byron Hanspard - Atlanta Falcons
23 Jake Plummer - Arizona Cardinals
24 Joey Kent - Houston Oilers
25 Corey Dillon - Cincinnati Bengals
26 Danny Wuerffel - New Orleans Saints
27 Will Blackwell - Pittsburgh Steelers
28 Troy Davis - New Orleans Saints
29 Darnell Autry - Chicago Bears
30 Pat Barnes - Kansas City Chiefs
Base
31 Kent Graham - Arizona Cardinals
32 Simeon Rice - Arizona Cardinals
33 Frank Sanders - Arizona Cardinals
34 Rob Moore - Arizona Cardinals
35 Eric Swann - Arizona Cardinals
36 Chris Chandler - Atlanta Falcons
37 Jamal Anderson - Atlanta Falcons
38 Terance Mathis - Atlanta Falcons
39 Bert Emanuel - Atlanta Falcons
40 Michael Booker - Atlanta Falcons
41 Vinny Testaverde - Baltimore Ravens
42 Bam Morris - Baltimore Ravens
43 Michael Jackson - Baltimore Ravens
44 Derrick Alexander - Baltimore Ravens
45 Jamie Sharper - Baltimore Ravens RC
46 Kim Herring - Baltimore Ravens RC
47 Todd Collins - Buffalo Bills
48 Thurman Thomas - Buffalo Bills
49 Andre Reed - Buffalo Bills
50 Quinn Early - Buffalo Bills
51 Bryce Paup - Buffalo Bills
52 Lonnie Johnson - Buffalo Bills
53 Kerry Collins - Carolina Panthers
54 Anthony Johnson - Carolina Panthers
55 Tim Biakabutuka - Carolina Panthers
56 Muhsin Muhammad - Carolina Panthers
57 Sam Mills - Carolina Panthers
58 Wesley Walls - Carolina Panthers
59 Rick Mirer - Chicago Bears
60 Raymont Harris - Chicago Bears
61 Curtis Conway - Chicago Bears
62 Bobby Engram - Chicago Bears
63 Bryan Cox - Chicago Bears
64 John Allred - Chicago Bears RC
65 Jeff Blake - Cincinnati Bengals
66 Ki-Jana Carter - Cincinnati Bengals
67 Darnay Scott - Cincinnati Bengals
68 Carl Pickens - Cincinnati Bengals
69 Dan Wilkinson - Cincinnati Bengals
70 Troy Aikman - Dallas Cowboys
71 Emmitt Smith - Dallas Cowboys
72 Michael Irvin - Dallas Cowboys
73 Deion Sanders - Dallas Cowboys
74 Anthony Miller - Dallas Cowboys
75 Antonio Anderson - Dallas Cowboys RC
76 John Elway - Denver Broncos
77 Terrell Davis - Denver Broncos
78 Rod Smith - Denver Broncos
79 Shannon Sharpe - Denver Broncos
80 Neil Smith - Denver Broncos
81 Trevor Pryce - Denver Broncos RC
82 Scott Mitchell - Detroit Lions
83 Barry Sanders - Detroit Lions
84 Herman Moore - Detroit Lions
85 Johnnie Morton - Detroit Lions
86 Matt Russell - Detroit Lions RC
87 Brett Favre - Green Bay Packers
88 Edgar Bennett - Green Bay Packers
89 Robert Brooks - Green Bay Packers
90 Antonio Freeman - Green Bay Packers
91 Reggie White - Green Bay Packers
92 Craig Newsome - Green Bay Packers
93 Jim Harbaugh - Indianapolis Colts
94 Marshall Faulk - Indianapolis Colts
95 Sean Dawkins - Indianapolis Colts
96 Marvin Harrison - Indianapolis Colts
97 Quentin Coryatt - Indianapolis Colts
98 Tarik Glenn - Indianapolis Colts RC
99 Mark Brunell - Jacksonville Jaguars
100 Natrone Means - Jacksonville Jaguars
101 Keenan McCardell - Jacksonville Jaguars
102 Jimmy Smith - Jacksonville Jaguars
103 Tony Brackens - Jacksonville Jaguars
104 Kevin Hardy - Jacksonville Jaguars
105 Elvis Grbac - Kansas City Chiefs
106 Marcus Allen - Kansas City Chiefs
107 Greg Hill - Kansas City Chiefs
108 Derrick Thomas - Kansas City Chiefs
109 Dale Carter - Kansas City Chiefs
110 Dan Marino - Miami Dolphins
111 Karim Abdul-Jabbar - Miami Dolphins
112 Brian Manning - Miami Dolphins RC
113 Daryl Gardener - Miami Dolphins
114 Troy Drayton - Miami Dolphins
115 Zach Thomas - Miami Dolphins
116 Jason Taylor - Miami Dolphins RC
117 Brad Johnson - Minnesota Vikings
118 Robert Smith - Minnesota Vikings
119 John Randle - Minnesota Vikings
120 Cris Carter - Minnesota Vikings
121 Jake Reed - Minnesota Vikings
122 Randall Cunningham - Minnesota Vikings
123 Drew Bledsoe - New England Patriots
124 Curtis Martin - New England Patriots
125 Terry Glenn - New England Patriots
126 Willie McGinest - New England Patriots
127 Chris Canty - New England Patriots RC
128 Sedrick Shaw - New England Patriots RC
129 Heath Shuler - New Orleans Saints
130 Mario Bates - New Orleans Saints
131 Ray Zellars - New Orleans Saints
132 Andre Hastings - New Orleans Saints
133 Dave Brown - New York Giants
134 Tyrone Wheatley - New York Giants
135 Rodney Hampton - New York Giants
136 Chris Calloway - New York Giants
137 Tiki Barber - New York Giants RC
138 Neil O'Donnell - New York Jets
139 Adrian Murrell - New York Jets
140 Wayne Chrebet - New York Jets
141 Keyshawn Johnson - New York Jets
142 Hugh Douglas - New York Jets
143 Jeff George - Oakland Raiders
144 Napoleon Kaufman - Oakland Raiders
145 Tim Brown - Oakland Raiders
146 Desmond Howard - Oakland Raiders
147 Rickey Dudley - Oakland Raiders
148 Terry McDaniel - Oakland Raiders
149 Ty Detmer - Philadelphia Eagles
150 Ricky Watters - Philadelphia Eagles
151 Chris T. Jones - Philadelphia Eagles
152 Irving Fryar - Philadelphia Eagles
153 Mike Mamula - Philadelphia Eagles
154 Jon Harris - Philadelphia Eagles RC
155 Kordell Stewart - Pittsburgh Steelers
156 Jerome Bettis - Pittsburgh Steelers
157 Charles Johnson - Pittsburgh Steelers
158 Greg Lloyd - Pittsburgh Steelers
159 George Jones - Pittsburgh Steelers RC
160 Terrell Fletcher - San Diego Chargers
161 Stan Humphries - San Diego Chargers
162 Tony Martin - San Diego Chargers
163 Eric Metcalf - San Diego Chargers
164 Junior Seau - San Diego Chargers
165 Rod Woodson - San Francisco 49ers
166 Steve Young - San Francisco 49ers
167 Terry Kirby - San Francisco 49ers
168 Garrison Hearst - San Francisco 49ers
169 Jerry Rice - San Francisco 49ers
170 Ken Norton Jr. - San Francisco 49ers
171 Kevin Greene - San Francisco 49ers
172 Lamar Smith - Seattle Seahawks
173 Warren Moon - Seattle Seahawks
174 Chris Warren - Seattle Seahawks
175 Cortez Kennedy - Seattle Seahawks
176 Joey Galloway - Seattle Seahawks
177 Tony Banks - St. Louis Rams
178 Isaac Bruce - St. Louis Rams
179 Eddie Kennison - St. Louis Rams
180 Kevin Carter - St. Louis Rams
181 Craig Heyward - St. Louis Rams
182 Trent Dilfer - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
183 Errict Rhett - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
184 Mike Alstott - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
185 Hardy Nickerson - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
186 Ronde Barber - Tampa Bay Buccaneers RC
187 Steve McNair - Houston Oilers
188 Eddie George - Houston Oilers
189 Chris Sanders - Houston Oilers
190 Blaine Bishop - Houston Oilers
191 Derrick Mason - Houston Oilers RC
192 Gus Frerotte - Washington Redskins
193 Terry Allen - Washington Redskins
194 Brian Mitchell - Washington Redskins
195 Alvin Harper - Washington Redskins
196 Jeff Hostetler - Washington Redskins
197 Leslie Shepherd - Washington Redskins
198 Stephen Davis - Washington Redskins

Marks of a Legend Autographs Set Checklist

7 cards. 1:168 packs.
1997 SP Authentic Football Marks of a Legend Staubach

Bob Griese
Franco Harris
Gale Sayers
Joe Montana
Joe Namath
Roger Staubach
Steve Largent
Tony Dorsett

ProFiles - Level 1 Set Checklist

40 cards. 1:5 packs.
PARALLEL CARDS: Level 2 Die-Cut (1:12 packs), Level 3 Die-Cut #/100
1997 SP Authentic Football ProFiles Barry Sanders

P1 Dan Marino
P2 Kordell Stewart
P3 Emmitt Smith
P4 Brett Favre
P5 Marcus Allen
P6 Jerry Rice
P7 Jeff George
P8 Mark Brunell
P9 Eddie George
P10 Cris Carter
P11 Tim Biakabutuka
P12 Ike Hilliard
P13 Darrell Russell
P14 Jim Druckenmiller
P15 Rae Carruth
P16 Warrick Dunn
P17 Herman Moore
P18 Deion Sanders
P19 Drew Bledsoe
P20 Jeff Blake
P21 Keyshawn Johnson
P22 Curtis Martin
P23 Michael Irvin
P24 Barry Sanders
P25 Carl Pickens
P26 Steve McNair
P27 Terry Allen
P28 Terrell Davis
P29 Lawrence Phillips
P30 Marshall Faulk
P31 Karim Abdul-Jabbar
P32 Steve Young
P33 Tim Brown
P34 Antowain Smith
P35 Kerry Collins
P36 Reggie White
P37 John Elway
P38 Jerome Bettis
P39 Troy Aikman
P40 Junior Seau

Sign of the Times Set Checklist

28 subjects. 1:24 packs.
Short prints are noted below. Some players have multiple versions.
1997 SP Authentic Football Sign of the Times Dan Marino

Karim Abdul-Jabbar
Troy Aikman
Terry Allen
Reidel Anthony
Jerome Bettis
Will Blackwell
Jeff Blake
Robert Brooks
Tim Brown
Isaac Bruce
Rae Carruth
Kerry Collins
Terrell Davis
Jim Druckenmiller
Warrick Dunn
Marshall Faulk
Joey Galloway
Eddie George
Tony Gonzalez
George Jones
Napoleon Kaufman
Dan Marino - silver
Dan Marino - white
Curtis Martin SP
Herman Moore
Jerry Rice - silver
Jerry Rice - white SP
Rashaan Salaam
Antowain Smith
Emmitt Smith SP

Traditions Dual Autographs Set Checklist

6 cards. 1:1,440 packs.
1997 SP Authentic Football Tradition Dual Autographs Rice Montana

TD1 Dan Marino - Bob Griese
TD2 Troy Aikman - Roger Staubach
TD3 Jerry Rice - Joe Montana
TD4 Jerome Bettis - Franco Harris
TD5 Emmitt Smith - Tony Dorsett
TD6 Joey Galloway - Steve Largent

Troy Aikman PowerDeck Audio Set Checklist

3 cards
Blue - 1:22, Pro Bowl - 1:120, White #/500
1997 SP Authentic Football PowerDeck Audio Aikman

Troy Aikman - Blue jersey
Troy Aikman - Pro Bowl jersey
Troy Aikman - White jersey

Authentics Signed Memorabilia Redemption Set Checklist

1:289 packs.

Dan Marino - Helmet
Dan Marino - Jersey

Authentics Collection Signed Memorabilia Redemption Set Checklist

SPC1 Troy Aikman
SPC2 Joe Montana
SPC3 Dan Marino


Trey Treutel  |  E-Mail Author
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. In more recent years, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute or Google+.

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