Granted, leaving slack in the tow strap and gunning it as was mentioned, is something we would NEVER do. Slow and steady gets the job done.
I have used the technic of useing energy built up in a proper nylon rope on several occasions to yank rigs out of snow drifts and mud. If used properly and with the proper type nylon rope damage is not likely to occur. The use of hooks on the ends of a nylon tow rope is not considered a wise thing to do. As Ned mentioned placing a nylon loop in the tow reciever and using the pin to secure it is a good practice.
The tow hook that was released from a Blazer I mentioned earlier was the result of a crack in the frame possibly there since manufacture. That is why the fix was covered by ther dealer.