The short answer is that I received my Ph.D. at the University of Washington, am an astronomer by profession, and specialize in certain statisitical multivariable optimization problems. In layman's terms, it means I work with problems where you try to find the set of variables that maximizes the likelihood of a set of data being produced. This translates easily into sports, of course, as team ratings and home field factors are the variables and the game results the data.
I have been doing sports ratings for about 10 years (primarily for the benefit of my sports simulation games and online leagues), but only recently began to make a serious attempt at statistical modeling of sports games. Unlike most sports rating "gurus", I post the mathematical basis of my rating system on the web.
One thing unique about my ratings explanations is that I am not afraid to mention places where subjective judgments have to be made and where simplifications are made. It is easy to get caught up in the objective numbers and equations, but there is no such thing as one unique and perfect rating system.