What you are missing here Swannies05 is that the travelling team then has 5 hours to recover. When i played rugby touring the UK we had 1 day off after 40 hours of travelling, held a training session and all was fine. If the west coast teams were required to play in 2 days time then there would be a noticeable effect. If there was a disadvantage then why are the Interstate teams performing better than the melbourne sides. Wouldn't you expect there to be a disparity in the numbers, some noticeable difference where the interstate teams are lower. I should also point out that in the last 10 years the eagles are in the top 4 sides in terms of winning positions behind collingwood, Geelong.
You are right the Eagles are a great club, and that is why they win, the travel has nothing to do with it. If it did then you would expect Fremantle and Eagles to be on some parity but they are not. If you look at the article I also analyse the other interstate teams not just west coast. They all perform better then the Melbourne teams on average.
I should point out that I am actually living in Western Australia and attend Eagles games. I think you dislike my article because you have read it with emotion, this was a statistical look at whether this exists or not, surely you can agree that there is no disadvantage in living interstate. The second emotion is involved sometimes reason is left behind. Its just statistics and to vary a quote from Rasheed Wallace "The Number Don't Lie!"
I think that home ground advantage is more noticeable in a competition like Super Rugby as the teams all play in separate locations rather than the situation in Melbourne where all of their teams play in two stadiums separated by the CBD. If the West Coast teams have such a home ground advantage then why does Fremantle stink so badly no matter where they play?
Matt F you raise an interesting point and I am writting my next piece on debunking this rumour as well. After another member of www.sportspolygamy.com had an in depth interview with the creators of www.ruckinggoodstats.com (who are employed by numerous Super Rugby teams) it would seem that there is no real advantage to playing at home. This too is a myth created by media in an attempt to increase interest in games. Put it this way in recent seasons Geelong has been dominant at home, they have also been incredibly dominant overall. The Dockers are not a very good team on the road because they are not a very good team in general. They have been historically bad. So look out for this one!