Rob Neyer - the baseball guy at ESPN - has been pimping an upcoming book for a little while now. The book is based on an in-depth study that was done on the home field advantage in sports.
In short, what the study found was that teams don't have inexplicably higher winning percentages at home because of the home cooked meals, sleeping in your own bed or the impetus of your fans. It's the officiating, stupid!
They found that across sports, across generations and across cultures, home teams get the benefit of the referee's calls.
While this doesn't make me feel any better while I watch Captain Jim make his dancing charge call against the visitors, at least it reassures me that he doesn't hate my Boilers specifically. He's just a whore for the crowd reaction.
Here's the link: