Less than a year ago, Famous Field was a child slave working 14 hours a day in a fishing village in Ghana.
Now Field, who is just seven, is just like any other first grader in College Station, pulling for the Texas A&M Aggies and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Field, who was adopted by Mercy Project founder Chris Field and his wife Stacey, got to attend his first Texas A&M football game Aug. 31 for the game against Rice. A user on the Texags.com Web site hooked Chris Field up with tickets and the site documented the day on video.
Famous Field loved everything from the Corps of Cadets, whom he referred to as soldiers, to the Fighting Texas Aggie Band and of course Manziel.
Chris Field tried to explain the Manziel suspension to his new son, whom they officially adopted six weeks ago. His limited knowledge of English made it tough but he knows Manziel now.
“I was trying to explain to him why Johnny couldn’t play in the first half,” said Chris Field, who founded the Mercy Project in 2010. “It’s tough to explain to any seven-year-old, even harder when he’s known English for six weeks. But he loves soccer. I told him Johnny got a penalty.”
After Manziel’s first scramble to open the second half, Famous Field was a Johnny Football convert.
“He looked up at me with wide open eyes,” Chris Field said. “He kept saying ‘He’s too fast. Too fast.'”
One of the challenges for Chris Field at the game was getting Famous not to pull for Rice. That’s because in Ghana rice is a staple in the diet and Famous Field loves rice.
Chris Field said Famous is still talking about the game and has plenty of maroon in his wardrobe.
Famous Field was one of 12 children rescued from the village last September. Chris Field said around 7,000 children have been sold into slavery, some for as little as $20. Part of the project’s goal is to help develop the villages better so they don’t have to rely on child slavery.
Chris Field said the plan is to have the rescued children educated and reintegrated back with their birth families. But since Famous was an orphan, the Field family opted to adopt him to live with their family, which also includes two other children.