There's been a lot of bizarre USC football stories this fall: press conference walk-offs, injury reporting controversies, and deflated footballs to name a few. But this one might be the weirdest of them all.
Two weeks ago, at the OB Suds Car Wash in San Diego, a mysterious gold-plated box containing cremated human remains was found by one of the vacuuming stations. This past Friday, a family in Orange County claimed the box. It turns out, according to ABC 10 San Diego, that the ashes are the cremated remains of Henry Lefebvre, USC's first star running back.
Lefebrve's family says he was a star running back at USC in the 1920s. He not only played in the first football game at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, he scored the first touchdown.
He also scored a touchdown against Missouri in the 1924 Christmas Festival Bowl. It was USC's first bowl victory. They won the game 20-7 and many consider the triumph a pivotal moment for a program that is now considered one of the greatest in collegiate history.
During Lefebrve's days at USC, he became close friends with actor John Wayne. Lefebrve and "The Duke" were on the same Trojan team.
"They would go to the studios and get jobs during the summertime," said Lefebrve's nephew Gil Lefebvre, who now lives outside of Los Angeles.
Lefebrve was also a teammate of offensive lineman Brice Taylor, one of USC's first African-American football players, who also became the program's first consensus All-American despite missing his left hand. Lefebvre also played for a season on USC's baseball and track & field teams.
After his days at USC, Lefebvre went on to become a millionaire by inventing the ping-pong net. He never had any children, but was survived by many nieces and nephews, including Jim Lefebvre, a former professional baseball player that was an infielder on the 1965 World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
But the weirdest part of this is that Lefebvre died in 1995 and had full funeral services. Not even his family knows how his ashes ended up in that car wash 17 years after his death, or who even had them to begin with. But at the very least, one of the stars that built the foundations of USC football will finally be laid to rest.