I think my friend James and I may have started "the swammi." If you watched enough sports during the mid-90s, you may recall seeing fans raising their hands above their heads and bowing while making noise that sounded remarkably like "Aaayyyawwww... Aaayyyawwww... (etc.)" out of reverence for a player or a particularly clever play. This was the swammi, and I'm certain that none of these fans realized that they were actually mimicking Ewoks.
See, back in 1988, James and I were regular attendees at the Boston College Film Board showings. All of the shows were all second runs, but they were free and people didn't mind if you heckled. In fact, it was pretty well expected. From our customary stations at the front of the auditorium, we took the practice and turned it into a (very low-brow) art.
At some point, we fell into the habit showing our appreciation for upcoming films (Robocop, for instance, or Hunt for Red October) with Ewok prostrations as seen in Return of the Jedi. We're talking on our knees, hands above our heads, and uttering generic Ewok worship sounds as we bent forward at the waist. Yes, it was geeky, but we were generally drunk and this kept us out of trouble, so...
Then hockey season started. I'm not normally a huge hockey fan, but for some reason I got caught up in the excitement around the BeanPot, and caught most of the games. At some point during a pan over the crowd after a key save, the camera settled on a couple of guys in BC colors and face paint doing Ewok prostrations in the direction of the goalie. It took off from there. Soon, it became common practice at BC games, and by the time hockey season for my senior year hit, there were enough fans doing it that you could actually hear the generic Ewok worship sounds.
A couple of years later, people were doing it a professional sports events. My mind was blown.
This is something of a cautionary tale, though. I fully expect that this was probably the closest I'll come to my fifteen minutes. Don't let it happen to you.