As the Cubs head south to U.S. Cellular Field for the start of a three-game series with the White Sox tonight, it brings back the days when fans actually cared about what’s now called the “Crosstown Classic.”

“Back in the day it was Sammy versus Big Frank or even Barrett versus A.J.,” said Cubs fan Tim Bland. “Now it’s Pena versus Paulie or Danks versus Garza. Talk about a yawn fest!”

With neither team having won a playoff series since 2005 with the White Sox apparent World Series victory, mutual mediocrity is perhaps one reason for the decline in fan enthusiasm. But others feel the sponsor-backed marketing push of the series feeling at least a little contrived. The Cubs’ front office disagreed.

“We believe the BP Cup will someday rank right up there with the Stanley Cup and Heisman Trophy,” said Cubs marketing man Wally Hayward. “I know lots of fans get extremely excited at the prospect of the Cubs bringing home the BP Cup this year because we all agree it’s our only chance at a trophy in 2011.”