By David G. Firestone
Gonna be a long one, so strap in. One of the most well known first person shooters is Team Fortress 2. A goofy game to say the least Team Fortress 2 or TF2 features 9 classes, all of which can be customized with weapons and cosmetics. In the TF2 world, the maps and classes are owned by The Mann Company. It, in turn, owns RED and BLU, the two opposing teams. When you as a player buy weapons and/or cosmetics you do so through The Mann Company. You also get items through crates, which require keys. Items from these crates can be from several different qualities.
There are several styles of TF2, there is Control Point or CP, where there are a series of points on a map, Blu is trying to capture the points, whereas Red is trying to block the captures. Payload or PL involves BLU trying to move a bomb on a cart into a RED base. Payload Race or PR is a map where there is a Red and a Blu bomb at a starting point and the point is to get your bomb to the end of the track. My favorite game is Capture the Flag or CTF, where on opposite ends of symmetrically designed levels are briefcases with intelligence. The goal is to take the enemy intelligence from their base to yours. Arena is where the goal is to kill all members of the opposite team. If both teams survive 1 minute of fighting with no re-spawning, a control point opens. King of the Hill which is similar to Arena, but the focus is on the Control Point. Mann vs. Machine involves a team of players vs a horde of robots attacking. Special Delivery involves bringing a briefcase to a rocket to get the rocket to launch. Territorial Control or TC involves capturing enemy control points while protecting your own. Many of these levels have Halloween modes, which allow for special costumes to be worn. When it comes to the links below, if it will specifically say if it can only be used at Halloween, or a server where Halloween mode is enabled.
Many of the cosmetics, quotes, achievements, and weapons have sports references. When it comes to sports references in TF2, The Scout is the top of the chart. The fastest and least durable of the mercenaries, he hails from Boston, has a snarky ‘in-your-face’ attitude, and a love of baseball. He likes to wear his socks high-cuffed. The Scout’s main themes are baseball and speed.
The baseball references start with a primary weapon called “The Shortstop.” While the Scout normally uses a small shotgun, this takes the form of a pistol with four barrels which fire small pellets in a concentrated area.
The Scout has a number of baseball related melee weapons. The standard issue melee weapon is The Bat, which is an aluminum bat, with an oval that has the name and color of the team in said oval. A popular upgrade is The Sandman. The Sandman is a wooden bat, with a large crack up the side, tied together with a black band. The Sandman is printed up the side. While the bat takes away 15 health, it comes with a ball made by Ball Fortress, for the All Ballers League. This can be used to stun enemies. In the heat of battle this can be very useful. The Boston Basher is a bat-like club with spikes. If you hit an enemy with it, he will bleed for 5 seconds, but if you miss, you will bleed for 5 seconds. The Atomizer is another bat weapon, though while this does less damage, and is slower, it does give the ability to triple jump, as opposed to the Scout’s standard double-jump. Similar in function to The Sandman, The Wrap Assassin is a roll of wrapping paper with a glass Christmas ornament, though the wrapping paper is much less damaging than the bat, and the ornament causes the opponent to bleed for 5 seconds. If The Sandman or Atomizer are equipped, the player can perform the Home Run taunt, where he calls his shot like Babe Ruth, and then swings the bat. If a player is nearby, the bat will kill him.
When it comes to cosmetics, The Scout has a lot, and I do mean A LOT of sports stuff, mostly baseball. The most obvious accessories are headgear. The Batting Helmet, is a single-flapped batting helmet, with the flap over the left ear to accommodate his ear piece. If you have a couple of Bonk! Atomic Punch cans than can be crafted, you can upgrade to The Bonk Helm. Bonk! Atomic Punch is a secondary weapon that, when consumed, gives the player 8 seconds of invulnerability, though the player can’t shoot, cap, or carry intelligence while invulnerable. Baseball Bill’s Sport Shine removes Scout’s headgear to reveal a short haircut. Ye Old Baker Boy is a brown “Newsie” cap, that many kids wore while playing baseball in the 1920’s, it has a robot counterpart, Ye Oiled Baker Boy. Essential Accessories consist of green and yellow stripes on the socks, arm bands, and green shoes, similar to those worn by Bullseye in Monday Night Combat. Also worn by Bullseye is the green and white cap called The Superfan. The tradition of catchers wearing their caps and helmets backwards is represented by the Backwards Ball Cap. The iconic food at baseball games are hot dogs, so The Hot Dogger was released. It’s a round cap with a large hot dog on top. A robot version, The Bot Dogger, and a Halloween edition, the Halloweiner was released. Interestingly, with the Halloweiner, the Red team’s hat is a classic hot dog, and the Blu team’s hat appears to be a bratwurst. One last hat, The Front Runner, is a striped headband.
When it comes to shirts and shoes, The Scout doesn’t have as much, though he does have The Track Terrorizer, a nice track suit. He also has The Bigg Mann On Campus, a nice varsity jacket, and the Cool Cat Cardigan, a varsity-style sweater. The Ball Kicker Boots are a pair of soccer cleats, that also spawn a soccer ball that can be played with. For those who want Chuck Taylor All-Stars in the game…too bad, you’ll have to settle for Buck Turner All-Stars. The Red Socks are ninja shoes worn by Scout and share the name of his favorite baseball team.
When it comes to achievements, many Scout achievements have baseball references.
A Year to Remember is awarded when the player reaches 2004 kills. It’s named after the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.
If you kill a Heavy/Medic pair within 20 seconds of each other, you win the Back to Back, named after a double-header.
Batter Up is awarded to the player if they get 1000 double jumps.
Scouts often carry The Sandman, and if he misses a ball at you, pick it up and use it on him, and earn Beanball.
When you kill an opposing player that has your intelligence while holding theirs, you get the Belittled Beleaguer achievement. Something that is “belittled” appears small or insignificant in contrast to its surroundings, “beleaguer” means to harass or beset. “Belittled Beleaguer” itself is a play on the phrase “Little Leaguer.”
If you prevent 50 point captures, you get Block the Plate.
If you stun 50 opponents riding the cart, or capturing the point, you get Brushback.
When you kill 50 enemies from behind with The Force of Nature, you get Caught Napping, which is when a base-runner gets out because they weren’t aware of what the defensive players are doing.
When you destroy 3 teleporter entrances, you are a Closer.
Doctoring The Ball? Well when you are ubercharged, kill 3 opponents.
In sports scores today Dodgers 1, Giants 0…oh wait, that isn’t a score, that is when you kill a Heavy and steal his Sandvich.
If you cause environmental deaths using The Force Of Nature or the baseball, you get Fall Classic and Foul Territory respectively.
Run down players are base runners who get caught between two fielders, one who has the ball.
Gun Down means to destroy a sentry gun with your pistol.
If You Build It…means destroying three buildings under construction.
I’ve survived 500 damage in one life, therefore I’m Bat Man!
Mickey Mantle holds the record for longest home run at 565, called a Moon Shot, which is also hitting a stun from a long distance.
No Hitter involves stealing and camping the intelligence in one life without firing a shot.
If you hit an opponent, and he goes 25 meters, you have hit it Out Of The Park.
If you kill 20 players while double jumping, you get Pop Up.
In the event you kill a player in Well before the round starts, you earn Quick Hook.
Run 25 kilometers, you earn Race For The Pennant.
If you kill an opponent Scout while he is under Crit A Cola, you earn Retire The Runner.
Round Tripper is awarded when you capture the intelligence 25 times.
Start 10 point captures that succeed? You earn Set The Table.
Capture the last point in a CP map? Side Retired!
If you have the speed to start a cap within a second of it becoming available, you’ve been Stealing Home
Strike Zone is awarded when you kill or assist 50 stunned enemies.
Frank Thomas is known as The Big Hurt, and it is awarded when you stun 2 Medics that are about to deploy ubercharges.
Killing enemies on land, in air, and under water in the same life? You have earned The Cycle.
If you are fast enough to capture 3 points in a row, you’ve earned the rare Triple Play.
and lastly, if you capture the intelligence 3 times in one round, you have earned Triple Steal.
The Scout also borrows lines from A League of Their Own, and uses a number of baseball related quotes.
“Yo, batter up!”
“Yo, I oughta’ be on a baseball card!”
“I’m battin’ a thousand!”
“Ya head’s a freakin’ bat magnet!”
“‘Ey, is somebody keepin’ track of my heads batted in?”
“Got da ball back!”
“Found my ball!”
“Oh dere’s my ball!”
“I love my ball!”
“Good ‘ands, buddy!”
“Good catch, dummy!”
Moving on, Tavish Finnegan DeGroot is a one-eyed drunken Scotsman from Ullapool. He is known as the Demoman. Using grenade launchers, sticky-bombs and his trusty bottle of cheap scrumpy, he is primary used in defense but can be used well in offensive scenario. He can turn into a “Demo Knight” by replacing the sticky-bomb launcher with a shield, and the bottle with a sword. His major themes are explosives, alcohol and Scotland.
Since golf originated in Scotland, there are a number of golf related references.
Nessie’s Nine Iron is a golf club, which functions identically to the Eyelander. while reducing overall health by 25 points, every player decapitated will give the player 8% speed and 15 health up to four times per life.
Of course if you want to go golfing, you have to look the part. As such, there are a number of cosmetic items for Tavish.
The Tam o’ Shanter is Tam o’ Shanter bonnet, which some associate with traditional Scottish golfers.
You can’t have a full golf bag without a golf bag so you can get the Gaelic Golf Bag.
Safety is not a priority for the Demoman, being an alcoholic demolitions expert who has already lost one eye, but if you feel like you need a helmet, you can buy the Sober Stuntman, which is based on the helmet Evil Knievel.
Like the Scout, Tavish can wear the Buck Turner All-Stars.
Heavy Weapons Guy or “The Heavy” is the face of the franchise. The slowest and most durable of the team, he comes from the Dzhugdzhur Mountains in Khabarovsk Krai in Siberia. He utilized mini-guns, shotguns, a sand-vich which restores health, and his fists, or various fist related weapons. His first name is “Misha (short for Mikhail), he loves his weapons, and has a Ph. D in Russian Literature. His big theme is Russia, and most of his items reference Russia or the Soviet Union in some manner. He has some sports related items, including two melee weapons:
The Killing Gloves of Boxing-these are equipped in the melee slot, and function as boxing gloves. These give cries for 5 seconds upon a successful kill made with them. Killing Gloves of Boxing is a reference to the KGB, the Soviet spy network.
The Gloves of Running Urgently-Similar in appearance and function to the Killing Gloves of Boxing with a flame design added, the Gloves of Running Urgently deal 25% less damage, allow the player to take mini-crits, but give the player to run 30% faster. Gloves of Running Urgently refers to G.R.U., which is an acronym for the Glavnoye Razvedyvatel’noye Upravleniye, the foreign military intelligence directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
and The Apoco-Fists-Functions the same way as the fists, but if a player is killed with a crit or mini-crit, the player will be gibbed. Were awarded to players who purchased Saints Row: The Third before November 15,2011.
In addition, the Heavy has some sports-related cosmetic items…
Two wrestling masks, the Cold War Luchadore, and the Large Luchadore.
Two football helmets, the Football Helmet, and the robot version, the Gridiron Guardian,
A large number of boxing items, including…The Pugilist’s Protector, The Heavy-Weight Title, The Toss-Proof Towel, and the robot version, The Titanium Towel.
The Heavy also has two weight lifting related cosmetic items, The Weight Room Warmer, and The Heavy Lifter.
In addition, there are a couple of achievements that reference sports. The Borscht Belt, while a reference to the Borscht Belt in the Catskill Mountains, features an icon of The Heavy-Weight Title belt. Communist Mani-Fisto, when you kill and enemy with a critical punch, refers to the Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It features a boxing glove punching icon. The final one is the Soviet Bloc, named after the Soviet Block, which features an icon of the Football Helmet. It is awarded to a players who is an invulnerable Heavy and blocks the path of an enemy invulnerable Heavy.
The Engineer, real name Dell Conagher, is a soft-spoken man who hails from Bee Cave Texas. He isn’t loud but he is very dangerous. Decent in size, durability, and speed, he is great in defense. He builds things, sentry turrets, dispensers, and teleporters. His big theme is Texas, and he doesn’t have very many sports references.
He has one sports related cosmetic item, the Endothermic Exowear, a hoodie.
He also has two sports references in his achievements, the Honky Tonk Man, which occurs when he kills a player while using the Dischord taunt. With the Frontier Justice equipped as the primary weapon, the taunt causes the Engineer to produce a guitar, strum a chord, and then smash the guitar. This will kill a player near him. Named after The Honky Tonk Man, who used the same attack in his time in WWE. If you move a level 3 sentry, and it gets a kill shortly after being redeployed, you will get If You Build It, They Will Die, an obvious reference to Field of Dreams.
Finally, we have some sports references in what are known as “All Class Cosmetics.” These are cosmetic items that can be worn by all 9 classes. Interestingly, the Soldier, Pyro, Medic, Sniper, and Spy have no sports references whatsoever, so these qualify for them. You can have a cap called The Athletic Supporter, which was awarded to those who purchased Monday Night Combat before February 1, 2011. You can also wear The Human Cannonball, a crash helmet that stuntmen like to wear. If you play CrimeCraft GangWars and earn the achievement “Key to the City” you get The Bolt Action Blitzer.