Emily, I can't let your "Huh" paragraph about the episode pass without a response! You're so wrong when you say the violence was peripheral and that the episode was really about sweet male cuddling.
The entire subtext of this episode—the fundamental theme that shapes it—is that the Lions bring violence—unfair, dirty, nasty violence—to the field, and they love it. Coach Taylor, a rationalist priss, can't live with it. All the other boys and men are thrilled about it. The violence and the resulting victory fuel the poker game, the party, the branding, and, most critically for Vince and Hastings, the "bros before hos" choice of male companionship over female—which, as I am sure you know, is the choice of violence over civilization.