The Falcons' scrum against the hapless Panthers on Sunday was scary. It's always disconcerting when your team gets into a hockey-style brawl. But the Panthers are a team we're used to feuding with; from Greg Hardy's jawing to Steve Smith's touchdown celebration gone wrong, conflict between these two teams is inevitable. And if there's a chance your teammate gets hurt,sitting back and playing it smart just isn't possible.
" We are brothers," [Julio] Jones said. "We’re not going to let guys push us around, especially in our group and on this team. That’s just the way we are. We practice together and we’re with each other every day. It’s a family out there and if you don’t have any camaraderie, togetherness, you’re not a team and you’re not going to get very far in this league."
Look, I don't want anyone getting injured - the Falcons can't afford any more injuries. I also don't want unnecessary penalties, especially in a close game. And there's always the momentum factor (e.g., the post-brawl stalling of the Falcons' offense Sunday). But when all is said and done, whether you were there for your brother will matter.
Hester didn't have to jump in to defend Harry Douglas. He chose to, and he made the right choice.