My Evidence for NFL Referee Bias (Finally) Enters the Public Domain

Today, I saw this series of tweets from Footballguys colleague Adam Harstad:

Well, not quite. I didn’t write a paper on it. Rather, my abstract ended up getting accepted as a poster for the 2007 New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports. I don’t usually talk about my “accomplishments” in the field of football analytics (because that would be douche-y, and I’m not a douche), but I’m especially proud that this analysis was accepted, as it was the beginning of a journey I’ve been on for the past 8 years. I took a chance on a hobby project when I became disillusioned with my PhD studies, and it somehow paid off, due in no small part to meeting Football Outsiders progenitor Aaron Schatz at this very conference.

Pleasantries aside, Adam’s tweets reminded me that the only thing that exists on the internet — which means for all eternity — regarding my poster is the abstract and this Deadspin article. (Thanks again, Kyle and Michael!) Although it was worthy of acceptance, the abstract doesn’t do my home-field advantage study justice. And so, it’s high time I add to the internet record my actual poster itself, which gives a more complete explanation and demonstration of evidence supporting the hypothesis that NFL referees are biased towards home teams, especially in divisional games (click to enlarge).

HFA Poster (2007 NESSIS)

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