The "Thanks for the Memories" honoree is getting another memory tonight he says he'd rather do without.
"I feel humbled,'' Gus Manning said of the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner, "but they've already given me an award.
"I wanted to give this one to someone more deserving.''
The gala event at the Knoxville Convention Center is an annual highlight on the local summer sports calendar.
The 2011 inductees include quarterback-turned-congressman Heath Shuler, who had to cancel his appearance tonight due to the debt-limit wrangling in Washington.
When it comes to accumulating memories, no one is more deserving than Manning, who celebrated his 88th birthday this month.
"Eighty-eight, it feels good,'' Manning said. "It doesn't feel as good as 21 though.''
Manning, who has been on the GKSHOF selection committee since it started in 1982, protested this year's honor, claiming the 1998 recognition for his athletic administration career at the University of Tennessee was reward aplenty
"They want to give me another one,'' he said. "Judge Tim Irwin suggested it and he's too dang big to fight.''
The cast for Manning's memories continues to grow, and lately at an accelerated pace.
"And then there's all the athletic directors.''
Including a new one to be named any day.
Last year's "Thanks for the Memories" honor went to Manning's longtime sidekick and close friend, Haywood Harris, who passed away two months before the banquet.
Harris will be in Manning's thoughts tonight. But that's not unusual.
"Haywood is always on my mind,'' Manning aid. "I miss him.''
Shuler, the 1992 Heisman Trophy runner-up, will be joined in the 2011 class by Reggie Cobb, Scott Galyon and Jim Smelcher as Tennessee football contributes four inductees.
Bernard King, the former UT and NBA star, is the keynote speaker for the 30th annual induction event.
The other members of the 2011 class are:
Ben Martin, a legendary coach at Oak Ridge High School.
Bill Redding, a leading local golf figure from the 1950s into the 1990s.
Donna Fielden, longtime official.
Ed Poore, former college basketball player and educator.
Elizabeth Henderson, a tennis player, coach and administrator.
Jim Bemiller, the track and field coach who made Knoxville a hotbed for pole-vaulting.
Several other honors will be celebrated.
Trevor Bayne, the newest and youngest Daytona 500 winner, is the Professional Athlete of the Year.
Devrin Young of Bearden (football), Lester Wilson of Carter (basketball) and Parker Wormsley of Webb (baseball) will share the Male High School Athletes of the Year.
Maddie Treasure of West (track) is the Female High School Athlete of the Year.
James A. Dick and Vance Link will receive "Special Recognition" for their contributions to local sports.
Dick started WIVK Radio and championed a number of community causes. Link was instrumental in supporting and advancing youth baseball.
Hospitality begins at 5:30, followed by dinner at 6:30. The event benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.