John and Janet Elway, once the NFL's most prominent couple, are separating after 18 years of marriage. "We're taking a break from our marriage to make us better," said Janet last week. "I don't know if this will last for three days, three weeks, three months or three years." Janet, 41, and the couple's four children moved out of their $1.8 million Cherry Hills Farm, Colo., home and into a nearby rented house. John, 41, was unavailable for comment, but sources close to the family say the split has been in the works for some time. This has been a tough year for the former Broncos quarterback: In addition to the breakup, MVP.com, the online venture he started with Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky, folded, and his father, Jack, died of a heart attack last April. Recently John has been spotted at various events in Denver without Janet, whom he began dating when they were both at Stanford. "We thought a lot about this," said Janet, "and this is what we've chosen to do."
?Fickle is a woman's heart—especially when the woman is a Playboy Playmate and her heart desires NFL quarterbacks. In 2000 Heather Kozar, the 1999 Playmate of the Year, began dating Browns signal-caller Tim Couch. Couch then made the mistake of introducing Kozar to his buddy, then Bears quarterback Cade McNown, who fell for Kozar and ended up stealing her from Couch. Kozar even moved from L.A. to Chicago to be with McNown. However, according to an insider, Kozar, a model on The Price Is Right, is back with Couch, and the duo are shopping for houses in the Cleveland area. McNown, meanwhile, is in Miami, perhaps pining but definitely riding the pine for the Dolphins.
? Tampa Bay DH Greg Vaughn likes to help his teammates suit up. No, he doesn't lace up their spikes. For the last three seasons Vaughn has taken a few of the team's rookies shopping for suits. On a recent trip to New York City, Vaughn brought outfielder Jason Conti and pitcher Delvin James to Porta Bella, an upscale men's clothing store. There Conti and James picked out three suits each, plus shirts and ties; Vaughn then picked up the $3,500 tab. "I know these guys make good money," says Vaughn, whose $8.8 million salary is the Devil Rays' highest, "but a lot of them have a lot of bills and stuff when they come up. This is a way for me to take pressure off." Vaughn adds that players such as Mike Felder and Glenn Braggs did the same for him when he first came to the majors. "And hopefully later on these guys will do the same," says Vaughn. "It's a tradition."
?Life after baseball has been busy for Mark McGwire. He got married in April to former pharmaceutical sales rep Stephanie Slemer (SCORECARD, May 20). Now the happy couple are looking to build their dream house. They've moved into a new, $1.84 million home in Shady Canyon, an exclusive 1,000-acre development in Irvine, Calif. But that three-bedroom Tuscan-style villa is only a temporary pad: The two are constructing a much larger house on two adjacent half-acre lots, also in Shady Canyon. The new house will overlook a Tom Fazio-designed golf course on which McGwire plays nearly every day.