Commander Fury Signs Off. Leaving Urgent Fury.
I've been staring at the screen for almost thirty minutes now, just trying to assemble the words & phrases necessary to make this post. And while it's been said that I have the "gift of gab", for some reason, I can't properly express how difficult it is to find the words at this moment.
When I came to Urgent Fury during it's very first tournament event "Urgent Fury: State Of The Union", I was just like one of you. I was just a gamer. Just the leader of a SOCOM clan, intrigued by the entire concept of a "Scenario Based TACMAP tournament". At the time, this community was all about exclusivity.
You didn't get in, unless you were invited. And even then, the community furiously policed itself. Holding each clan, and ultimately, each person accountable for his or her actions.
As a clan leader, I realized that I wasn't really the "leader" of anything. I was just some guy who played video games. I had never served in the military, and honestly had never even been in an "upper management" position in my life. But, because I was typically older than most of the people I played with, I realized that I had been presented with a unique opportunity. And eventually, my goal was to act as a mentor. To lead by setting an example for others to follow. And maybe, to dispense any wisdom I may have had to those "serving" within our ranks. When I think back on it now, it actually makes me chuckle a bit. They thought I was teaching them how to play a video game. In reality, I was trying to give them something that they could take with them for the rest of their lives. I was trying to teach them the importance of being a part of something that is much bigger than just one person. Much like life itself.
But, more to the point of this post. As most of you know, I have been part of the Urgent Fury staff long before there was actually a staff here.
I was privy to the behind the scenes goings on that most of you have never seen, or heard about. And due to the generosity of Urgent Fury co-creators Jay Donovan & Joseph Mesa, I eventually became part of the creative element of this community.
By now, most of you know that I am Commander Fury. And for 99 episodes of Urgent Frequency, I have tried to produce a sonic representation of what Urgent Fury is all about. At first, I kept my identity secret. Mainly because I didn't want people to focus on me. But rather, on the podcast, and the community that I so eagerly wanted to make a respected name within the gaming industry. After selling Urgent Fury a few years back, Jay Donovan "outed" me as he tried to show me the gratitude that I assume he thought I deserved. Honestly, I was worried that folks wouldn't embrace me as much as they seemed to embrace "Commander Fury". But, I was wrong. Instead, the community seemed to be relieved that "Fury" wasn't just some detached "voice", that had nothing invested in Urgent Fury. They seemed comforted by the fact that "he" was actually one of their own.
I have been a radio professional for most of my adult life. 20+ years in the industry. I have interviewed and met celebrities. I have held the top ratings spot within my market 3 times in my career. If I never worked within the industry again, I could hold my head high, with the feeling that I have had a good career to this point.
But, I have to say that the things that I have accomplished here with, and for Urgent Fury, will always hold a special place in my heart. It has been a true labor of love. And until recently, it has never seemed like work. And honestly, for reasons I don't care to go into here, the passion has left me. And the fire that once burned bright. Is now, just a dim and tired flicker.
Don't get me wrong. If most of you knew how much time, effort, and energy went into the production of just a single episode of the podcast, I assure you, you'd be stunned.
I write almost every word you hear, and I am typically responsible for the guests that have appeared over the years, and the research I must do on each of those guests, in order to conduct a professional interview. Then, it typically takes me up to 3 days to actually edit, and mix the existing production elements needed for each episode. Some people have asked,"why worry so much about it dude?". Saying, "Just turn the mic on and talk". Without question, I guess that would have been easier.
But, when I first set out to do Urgent Frequency, I wasn't even sure what a podcast was. All I knew was that it wasn't going to be like every other podcast. I wasn't going to be that guy in his basement, behind a cheap mic, just talking to his friends about games. I was determined to create a podcast that sounded like a radio show. Something that each member of this community could be proud of, and that would make other people want to be part of Urgent Fury.
In the end, I am proud of how much Urgent Fury has grown over the years. And I am humbled that I was in some small way responsible for that growth.
I will never forget the friends that I have made here, or within the industry. And most of all, I am proud of the fact that what was once just a cool idea among a few friends, is now a legitimate entity within the gaming industry.
I could have never have done this without the interest and support of this unique "family". A group of like minded gamers, that I have grown to love so much over the years. I will never be able to properly thank those of you who have lifted me up when I was discouraged. Or that simply gave me a kind word in the midst of indifference. Your emails, and private messages have meant so much to me over the years. And I want you to know that I read each one with a smile on my face.
So, in closing, I want to thank Jay Donovan & Joseph Mesa, A.K.A. Undertow & Sniper. Jay you are without question, one of the most powerfully creative people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. And while we don't keep in touch as much as we used to. You have had an undeniable effect on me as a person. You taught me to be fearlessly creative. To go outside the box, and dig deeper. And for that, I thank you. I wish you nothing but happiness and joy in your life. Joseph, I can never thank you enough for your guidance and support for this "perpetually novice" graphic artist. Your quiet confidence, speaks louder than words mi amigo. Thank you.
I also want to thank the new owners of Urgent Fury. The fact is, they didn't have to keep Commander Fury on the team. But they did. And you have no idea what that meant to me. More specifically, I want to thank Shane. He endures more criticism than he's ever deserved. His vision is one of growth, and relevance for Urgent Fury. And sadly, most of you can't see the "trees for the forest" in that regard. But I have, and I do. Whether it was our presence at E3 & PAX. Or our relationships with industry giants like Sony & Bradygames. You have held fast to the original plan that you guys had when you bought Urgent Fury. No one reading this can fathom the endless hours that you & I have put into this.
Most of all, I want to thank the community. I am you. And you, are me. I'm not sure what the future holds for me at this point. But, please keep in mind that you are Urgent Fury. And without you, and your support...Urgent Fury is just a good idea. This is not good bye. It is see you later. There are things I want to accomplish. And hopefully, I will have your continued support as I move forward with my new project. I love this community. And I will never forget my time here.
Until next time...Keep your feet wet...and your powder dry. Hooyah!