The legend of Johnny Football was born on the field, coming to life around replays of the diminutive quarterback time after time scrambling left, juking right, then launching a prayer of a pass that would eventually find its receiver.
But the celebrity of Johnny Manziel was incubated in his off-hours, a result of beer-swilling sessions at frat houses, trouble with the law and mysterious or otherwise illicit autograph sessions, behavior befitting the favorite son of a family well-heeled from the proceeds of oil that only deepened the lore.
The stories are old hat for the patrons at Manziel's favorite bar in College Station, Texas, Chimy's Cerveceria, many of them no doubt living as firsthand accounts.
On Thursday at Chimy's, Manziel made sure the memories weren't an afterthought, treating more than 100 revelers to a beer and a shot, as he was chosen No. 22 by the Cleveland Browns in the NFL draft.
According to a Dallas Morning News report, Manziel bought about 122 of 250 people in attendance in Chimy's, according to a bar employee, a Miller Lite and a Fireball shot.
Chimy's general manager Petro Robledo told the newspaper he and Manziel are friends, and that the former Texas A&M Aggies star had dropped by last week to make preparations for the surprise.
Manziel left his credit-card number at the bar, Robledo told the Morning News, with a goal of spending about $2,000 -- a nod to his No. 2 jersey.
Had Manziel been picked earlier in the draft as was widely anticipated, he had originally planned on making a brief appearance at the bar via video conference, according to Robledo.
But 2 hours and 45 minutes passed before the Browns took Manziel, which Robledo said resulted in a change of plans.
It didn't completely douse the festivities, as Chimy's held a raffle over where Manziel would be picked and three Manziel-signed helmets and a football were awarded as prizes.
Robledo said interest in the draft piqued with the Dallas Cowboys' pick at No. 16 -- with the bar hopping to Kid Rock's "Cowboy", which features the lyrics "I wanna be a cowboy, baby."