Kerri Kupec, a White House spokeswoman, said: “It seems The New York Times is committed to embarrassing Judge Kavanaugh with three-decade-old stories of adolescent drinking.”
Judge Kavanaugh, an only child and sports fanatic, surrounded himself in high school with athletes. Among his closest friends, classmates said, were Mr. Judge, Christopher C. Garrett and Don Urgo Jr. Other members of the clique included Mr. Gaudette and DeLancey Davis.
“Academically, athletically and socially, we all became literally almost like brothers,” Mr. Urgo said in an interview with The Times in July. He got to know Judge Kavanaugh as a fellow altar boy in elementary school. “We had a particular esprit de corps, a zest for life, as a group.”
They played basketball and board games. They also drank.
“It was part of the social life,” said Tobin Finizio, now a radiologist who was then the football team’s quarterback. “In the late ’70s and early ’80s, if you look at the statistics, underage drinking was fairly prevalent. We look at it now and say, ‘Oh my God, that was crazy.’”
Judge Kavanaugh — nicknamed “Bart” after a Georgetown Prep teacher garbled “Brett” — sometimes acted as a restraining influence. One night, a friend named Sean Feeley was out of control. Judge Kavanaugh pulled him aside and whispered three words: “Come on, Sean.” Mr. Feeley today credits Judge Kavanaugh with knowing how to calm classmates without them losing face.
Judge Kavanaugh and his friends had their own language and traditions. There was Mr. Garrett, nicknamed early on as “Squee” because of his resemblance to an upperclassman with a similar last name.
When he drank, Mr. Garrett would stutter words that began with the letter F. It became such a joke that many football teammates, including Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Garrett himself, had “FFFFF” references in their personal yearbook pages. Mr. Garrett, now a middle-school teacher in Georgia, sometimes hosted gatherings, including one when the Washington Redskins won the 1983 Super Bowl. Classmates said some seniors were too hung over to attend school the next day.