LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Over the weekend, thousands of Cats fans flooded the streets of Lexington to celebrate UK's run to the Final Four. While the celebrations were large, police say fans were mostly well-behaved.
The numbers include 27 fire calls each night, five arrests, and five people taken to the hospital. State Street is one of the places where the action happens. Now one man, who used to live in that area, wants to find a way to help the first responders working to keep the celebrations in control.
State Street doesn't have its own fire department, but at times, it might seem like it should. Celebrations after UK wins in the NCAA tournament play generated some significant fires back in 2012 and a T-shirt that got pretty popular among UK students. Now the fires and T-shirts are back.
"Once we got past Michigan the other night, I decided to rev it back up," said Brett Morris, who is designing and organizing T-shirt sales.
Morris hopes his shirts back in 2012 and the State Street Fire Department Facebook page will help generate some interest.
"This time with the thought of actually giving back a little to it," said Morris. "If we're going to do it, we might as well do it right."
Morris plans to give 50 percent of the proceeds back to local firefighters as a way of saying thanks for dealing with the mayhem.
"This, especially when you deal with large amounts of people, could potentially turn ugly very quickly," said Morris.
Morris tells us the shirts aren't meant to poke fun or laugh at that kind of behavior, saying it's only funny until someone gets hurt.
"Obviously I'm not encouraging it. But like I said, students are going to do what they're going to do," said Morris. "It seems like they've done it so far within the realms of being peaceful."
He says he's been there and was a UK student during the tournament, so he understands the hype.
"I was there from '95 to '99, so I was there for both national titles plus I was there for runner-up in '97," said Morris. "And I actually lived on Woodland for a year, so I was in the heart of it."
His cousin, Andy Coffman, at UK now following in his footsteps and one of many living on State Street during March Madness.
Morris says the shirts will go to press on Tuesday. He then plans to sell them for $17 to $20 each. The Facebook page link with the new design is posted above, and that's how you can buy a T-shirt.